Not the least bit shy, this vintage of Playing with Fire expresses all the best attributes of the spectacular 2018 vintage. Effusive boysenberry and blackberry aromas are layered with hints of molasses, root beer and bitter chocolate. The dark meaty aromas are likely from the generous percentage of Malbec, while the Cabernet Franc brings afeminine, floral note. Smooth and creamy on entry, the core is lush and concentrated like a bite of a dark chocolate covered cherry. Full bodied yet complex, you might find a playful spiciness and a touch of perfectly brewed black tea in the mid-palate. Ripe summer fruit flavors evolve into chewy, youthful tannins that leave you longing for another sip. Your patience will be rewarded with a little time in the cellar, but this wine is ready to play right now. 70% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc.
A dry winter was followed by abundant and nourishing rainfall in March and April. As water reservoir levels climbed to almost full capacities, mild winter and spring temperatures delayed budbreak by almost two weeks. Continued cool, steady late spring and summer temperatures pushed veraison out by another several weeks. August and September also remained consistently cool and we were able to avoid the major heat spikes that are so common during late summer months. As we continued to inch towards harvest, the near-perfect weather and long growing season gave us plenty of time to pick grapes at optimal ripeness. Yields were up over past years and the quality of the fruit was stellar. Wines from the 2018 vintage will be bright with concentrated flavors and lush tannins.