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2016 Tasting Notes







Lineage | Vintage 2016 | 10th Anniversary Vintage Notes


Lineage Wine Company’s singular offering aspires to be one of the truly great Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines in the world. Lineage is a product of meticulously farmed fruit from the Livermore Valley’s finest vineyards and the vision of s i x t h-generation winemaker, Steven Mirassou.


Each vintage of Lineage begins with the evaluation of individual lots of wine after malo-lactic conversion is finished in late winter the year after harvesting. This process will take many months as each barrel in each lot is tasted blind several times before it is deemed of great-enough quality to be considered part of the Lineage blend. Scores of mock blends later, the final assemblage is made, rebarreled for about six months so that the wine’s components have an opportunity to marry into an elegant whole, then bottled. 2016 marks our 10th Anniversary release of Lineage. The wine comprises fewer than 250 cases and more than 90% of our Bordeaux-varietal production was declassified. With the exception of the 2011 and 2015 vintages, this decade has produced a string of harvest-year conditions that are characterized by consistency and temperance. Typically, our appellation, from July – August, hovers around 88o on average. This temperature is ideal for the uniform ripening of fruit going through veraison during this window. Heat spikes around Labor Day are generally brief, and the fruit moves through the latter half of September and into October’s final development under cloudless skies, warm days and cool evenings.  2016 followed this pattern as temperatures soared to over 110o for three days in the first week of September before settling into the mid-80s for most of the rest of the harvest year.


Unlike vineyard yield issues that made the 2015 vintage a challenge, all of the fruit coming in from our estate vineyards in 2016 arrived at the winery perfectly ripe. Clone 30 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Ghielmetti Estate Vineyard and Cabernet Franc from both Ghielmetti and Sachau Vineyard were as high in quality as we have yet seen. Again, in contrast to the previous vintage, both the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc presented with dark to black fruit flavors, significant richness and depth of structure. Consistent with our thought process about what Lineage is as a wine, we look at Cabernet Sauvignon to provide the tannin and shape to the wine, the structural scaffolding. Upon this framework, Cabernet Franc gives over acidity and verve, the sexiness; Merlot contributes plush fleshiness, and Petit Verdot offers exotic organoleptic notes. This offering will require three to five years before it begins to open enough to experience in full and, with proper storage, should evolve beautifully for 15-20 years. Drink from 2024-2036.


Harvest Dates: September 23 – October 22, 2016


Cépage: 59% Cabernet Sauvignon; 27% Cabernet Franc; 9% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot.  Alcohol 14.4%


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. Malo- actic conversion was induced in barrel.


Aging: 60% of the barrels included in this blend were new French oak (Le Grand, Doreau, and François Frerès.) Total aging time was 22 months.


Time in Barrel: 22 months  ?Bottling Date: March 6, 2019  ?Release Date: October 10, 2019


Bottles Produced ??Vintage 2015: 2,814 bottles, 60 magnums, 5 double-magnums, and 5 five-liters