This heritage-clone Chardonnay is sourced from the Upper Barn and Cougar Ridge vineyards at the rugged upper reaches of the Alexander Mountain Estate, between 1,600 and 1,800 feet above sea level. A variation of the Hyde-Wente clone of Chardonnay, the Upper Barn clone thrives at these high elevations and produces exceptional mineral aromatics. Hand-picked and hand-sorted, the fruit is gently pressed and allowed to ferment naturally in barrel with wild yeasts from the vineyard. The lees are then stirred monthly during malolactic fermentation for superior aromatic and textural finesse. After 11 months in 31% new French oak, the wine is racked and bottled.
The 2017 Chardonnay opens with aromas of stargazer lily, lemon curd, brioche and a stony note in the background. On the palate, one finds Asian pear and toast notes, enveloped in a lush mid-palate and a bracing framework of acidity—the mountain’s assurance that the 2017 Legacy Chardonnay will age beautifully for a decade or longer.
The Legacy Red Blend assembles Bordeaux varietals from superior blocks in the Jimtown vineyard, Legacy vineyard and, Alexander Mountain Estate. Cabernet Sauvignon predominates, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot adding greater aromatic complexity and depth. An uncompromising attention to detail defines this wine, from pruning and leafing decisions to the final blend. Hand-picked at dawn and sorted by hand, the grapes are vinified in small upright fermenters made of French oak. After blending, the wine is aged for 26 months in 60% new French oak barrels before bottling.
The 2015 Red Wine exhibits aromas of cassis, violet, fennel and mocha flood from the glass alongside a faint hint of bay leaf—a nod to the wine’s mountain provenance. Black fruit, graphite and forest botanicals cascade through a powerful textural presence held aloft by chewy tannins. Extraordinarily layered and complex, the 2015 Legacy will reward patience and will age easily for two decades.
The Petite Sirah is sourced from the gnarled, ancient vines of the Field Stone estate vineyards, which have witnessed Alexander Valley’s winemaking history for more than 120 years. A prominent local family planted the Petite Sirah block in these stony soils in 1894. More than 70 years later, renowned viticulturalist Andrè Tchelistcheff consulted on the selection and cultivation of heritage clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that still thrive there today. One of Bordeaux’s greatest Right Bank châteaux attempted to buy the vineyards in the mid-1980s, but Barbara Banke ultimately succeeded in 2016 – securing this historic site for a new chapter of Legacy.
The 2017 Petite Sirah exudes class. Its deep purple color is followed by a bouquet of cassis and black-skinned blueberry with touches of dusty soil, tobacco leaf and black cherry compote. It's ripe and full-bodied with a chewy texture framing the purity of fruit flavors, finishing spicy with a fresh acidity.