Cloud cover but little rain in 2008 provided very cool, slow ripening conditions and the resultant wines are extraordinarily elegant and delicate.
From hand-sorting at harvest, each component of this blend begins its fermentation in tank and completes it in 225l French oak barrels. Only the lowest press fractions are used for blending, resulting in a wine composed almost entirely of free-run juice. We work with five family-owned cooperages located near Cognac to produce barrels matched to our intended style.
When establishing Noble Hill I was given keys to every door, cupboard, and gate in a jumbled box. Sorting through the mess, I realized that some of the keys dated to the farm's historic past, and ever since we have placed a key on each label. Different keys represent our different sources of inspiration and the different characters of each grape varietal. The 2008 Estate Blend is labeled with three keys representing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.
This wine elicits the aromas and tastes of fresh blackberries, black cherries, and a touch of mint for interest. Oak plays a well-integrated supporting role with graphite focus. This vintage was released after two years' bottle maturation and can be enjoyed from now through 2017.