2011 Lineage | Livermore valley

 

 

LINEAGE|Livermore Valley aspires to be one of the truly great Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines in the world. This singular wine is the marriage of the Grand Cru quality of the Livermore Valley’s finest vineyards and the vision of sixth-generation winemaker, Steven Mirassou. A blend of the classic Bordeaux varieties, LINEAGE is a wine of profound beauty and elegance.

 

The process of evaluating the quality of individual lots and then barrels within lots began after malolactic fermentation ended in April 2012. Each varietal component was vinified separately, and
scores of mock blends were made and discarded before the final assemblage was determined in March 2013. The final blend was then made, re-barreled for about 8 months to allow the parts to marry into a cohesive whole and bottled in January 2014. 2011 LINEAGE consists of only the 10 barrels we deemed of truly superior potential, and in the process, we declassified more than 95% of our Bordeaux-varietal production. 2011 —like 2010 before it— was a difficult year with cooler-than-average temperatures and significant rainfall leading into the harvest in mid-October. Though yields were down in nearly every one of our Cabernet Sauvignon blocks, spectacular quality was achieved in the Clone 30 at Ghielmetti Estate, Clone 7 at Home Ranch, and Clone 8 at the Smith Ranch vineyards. Both Cabernet Franc and Merlot take on significant roles in this vintage, accounting for more than a third of the blend, while Petit Verdot and Malbec add complexity and structure. The 2011 vintage marks our fifth release.

 

In keeping with the austere nature of the vintage, LINEAGE displays great restraint in the nose in its
youth. Black fruits, lead pencil, fennel pollen, and coffee notes dominate. On entry, enlivening acidity,
which plays an impressive role in this wine’s extremely long finish, elevates the substantial black fruit
flavors and serves as a counterbalance to LINEAGE’s tannin and wood. The overall feel of LINEAGE is
one of beauty and elegance. There is certainly the tannic structure present to guarantee long aging,
but sheer power never trumps the wine’s more lithe and vital core. Drink from 2017 — 2030.

 

Harvest Dates: October 30 – November 18, 2011

 

Cépage: 62% Cabernet Sauvignon (Clones 30, 7, & 8); 19% Merlot; 14% Cabernet Franc; 3% Petit
Verdot; 2% Malbec — Harvested from the Ghielmetti Estate, Home Ranch, and Smith Ranch Vineyards
in the Livermore Valley. Alcohol 14.1%.

Fermentation: After destemming and crushing, each varietal was fermented separately in 1.7 ton opentopped
fermenters. Fermentation and extended maceration lasted from two to four weeks. Malolactic
conversion was induced in barrel.

 

Aging: Eight of 10 barrels included in this blend were new French oak (Taransaud, Le Grand, and
François Frerès among others). Total aging time was 26 months.

 

Time in Barrel: 26 months ? Bottling Date: January 21, 2014 ? Release Date: October 3, 2014

 

Bottles Produced Vintage 2011: 3,348 bottles, 192 magnums, 5 double-magnums, and 5 five-liters