The 2018 vintage proved nearly ideal. Ample winter rains were followed by lots of spring and early summer sunshine. Bud break and flowering were slightly later than usual, but coincided with ideal weather conditions for healthy fruit set. Summer brought more balance in the form of sunshine and cooling marine influences at night. The mild summer was followed by an equally ideal fall; allowing fruit to ripen with ample flavor and complexity with moderate sugar levels. After hand-harvesting and sorting, fermentation temperatures were kept deliberately low to retain fresh fruit flavors and deep color extraction. Carefully selected French oak barrels rounded out the elevage (or barrel aging) process, ensuring a wine with vibrant character.
We source Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Oakville, Diamond Mountain and Pope Valley, areas for our Artistry blend, treasured for their ability to offer ripe tannins and bold flavors. Merlot from Yountville and Rutherford lends lush texture and black fruit flavors, while Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from Pope Valley provide floral aromatics and layered fruit flavors. Petite Verdot is often the latest ripening variety, and it contributes to the palate weight, tannin structure and floral aromatics of the final blend. The mélange of fruit, hailing from both hillside and valley floor vineyards unites in a singular, focused expression.
The 2018 Artistry is fresh and focused with red fruit, cocoa powder and graphite on the nose. The palate is elegant with supple blackberry, cherry and red plum fruit wrapped in notes of coffee, and baking spice. The long and velvety finish reveals bold tannins and well-integrated oak.
About This Wine:
For over four decades Girard has produced a “red wine” blend from our best barrel lots. In 2003 we found a fitting name for this blend that promotes the artistic side of winemaking. It is in the blending process that we feel “Artistry” finds its best representation.
- Varietal Composition:
- 69% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 13% Merlot
- 9% Malbec
- 6% Cabernet Franc
- 3% Petit Verdot
- Oak Aging: 18 months in French oak, 50% new
- Alcohol: 14.5%
- pH: 3.62
- TA: 6.5 g/L
- Residual Sugar: 1.81 g/L
A ripe and very pretty cabernet with currants, sweet berries, flowers and light sandalwood. Finesse and focus here. It’s a little tight at the end, but this medium-to full-bodied red shows beauty. Drink after 2023. - James Suckling 93 points