Contemplate is a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and some of the lesser-known Bordeaux-style varieties. It represents our winemaking team’s favorite lots of the vintage, so each year the varietal composition shifts. The wine consistently delivers delicate floral character on the nose, as well as deep cherry aromas that give way to a palate of plum and cranberry—flavors that marry nicely with enticing hints of olive and even bacon. Good acidity makes this wine a natural pairing for hearty duck breast or coq au vin.
The deep cherry color implies the same in the wine’s character. Sweet Bing cherry combines with enticing floral aromas. An elegant and silky, medium-bodied entry coats the mouth with flavors of berry compote, plum, cranberry, and sweet red raspberries, which marry nicely with savory roasted meat, bacon, and olive flavors. Youthful acidity leads to a long, clean finish.
Vintage 2015 was one of the Napa Valley’s earliest harvests on record in recent years. After three record-setting abundant vintages, yields were notably low but high in quality. The fruit for this wine was harvested at an optimal level of ripeness in early October. The berries were hand harvested at night, carefully sorted, and destemmed to tank, where fermentation took place. Then, the wine was racked to 48 percent new French oak barrels, where it was aged for 18 months prior to bottling.
The majority of the fruit for this wine was sourced from our vineyards in Oakville, along with grapes from our estates in Rutherford and Carneros. The varieties used in this blend benefit from these warm regions and develop complex flavors and a rich mouthfeel.
Food Pairing Notes
With abundant flavors of its own, the 2015 Contemplate Red Wine would be delightful with hearty dishes like duck breast in a red wine sauce or coq au vin. This wine would also make a delicious cheese course when paired with a local wine country favorite, Vella Dry Jack, a cow’s milk cheese made in Sonoma.
We age this wine in French oak barrels (48 percent new) for 18 months prior to bottling to fully marry the distinctive characters of each of the components of the blend.