SKID ROW MALBEC
Saracina is located along the Upper Russian River in northern California’s wine country. The 400-acre ranch which includes a winery and sustainably farmed vineyards, is also home to a 140-year-old olive trees, vegetable gardens, beehives, and local birds and wildlife. The handcrafted, limited production Saracina wines reflect a conscious sense of this beautiful place in Mendocino County. Founded by husband and wife team John Fetzer and Patty Rock in 2001, Saracina has always been defined by a strong sense of family. In 2018, Marc Taub took on stewardship of Saracina, upholding the spirit of family ownership that has defined this iconic Mendocino County winery since inception.TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
Planted in 1999, Skid Row Vineyard is the westernmost block on the Saracina Ranch, marked by black clay and gravelly soils at the base of the foothills. The plant material is the original Bordeaux clone 4. It is significant not for what it produces, but for what it doesn’t. It is the lowest-yielding commercial Malbec clone available, and on the property typical yields are one and a half tons per acre. It produces concentrated fruit without the need to pick at ultra-high sugars.
The vineyard was named “Skid Row” for the tracks carved into the surrounding hillsides in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by donkeys dragging logs down to the vineyard site, where they were collected to fire the furnaces for hop barns in the course of making beer.
The harvest of 2019 was a winemaker’s dream, with adequate rains and a long and even growing season.WINEMAKING
The grapes were harvested by hand on September 27th, destemmed and gently fed into the fermenter with 50% whole berries. Native yeast fermentation began in earnest eight days later and was managed with two aerative pumpovers per day until dryness. The wine was drained directly into Taransaud barrels, 15% of which were new. Native malolactic fermentation was complete by early January. The wine rested on light lees for 19 months total and was bottled on July 21,2021.TASTING NOTES
Medium garnet, this lovely rendition of Malbec reveals black plum and blueberry fruits with a cedar note in the background. The palate is polished, with round tannins and great depth of flavor. Pair it with a peppery soy balsamic marinated steak and portabella mushrooms, both on the grill, perfect in any season.