Lancaster Estate Nicole’s Proprietary Red Founding
Four years after the founding of Lancaster Estate, Proprietor Ted Simpkins established a new goal and set forward an estate tradition. Each vintage winemakers set aside the most promising barrels for extended evaluation. With no specific rules regarding grape varietals selected or vineyard blocks chosen, the sole requirement is for the most exceptional barrels to be reserved.
From these hand-selected, best-of-the-best barrels, a limited release library bottling is crafted, named in honor of Ted’s wife and co-proprietor, Nicole. The Nicole’s Proprietary Red is a reflection of the estate’s best efforts in any given growing season, and its composition varies with each vintage when it is produced.
Only a fortunate few have access to Nicole’s Red, yet its reputation stands apart like a wine worthy of its origins. Reserved for members of the Lancaster Estate Wine Guild alone, on release day, as befits such a wine, it moves quickly into member's wine cellars and none remains until the next vintage.
2008 Lancaster Estate Nicole’s Proprietary
The 2008 Nicole’s was created from the best 18 barrels from that vintage. It is a powerful expression of Cabernet with elegant layer tannins that power through the finish. Aromas of Espresso, clove, and black fruits. Dried current, cherries, and minerality are finely woven with an elegant powerful finish. This wine was bottled unfiltered.
Located at the southern tip of Alexander Valley, Lancaster Estate tends to have a cooler yet longer growing season than other Bordeaux varietal-producing areas in California. This results in later bud-break and more moderate growing conditions, which encourages a longer hang time and thus improves the phenolic maturity of the grapes and ultimately the elegant structure of the wine. The 2008 vintage began with a winter drought followed by a dry and frosty spring, which further delayed bud-break. These conditions affected the vineyards and reduced the estate’s overall crop by about 30%. With an already thinned crop, a dry spring, and a warm September, the fruit ripened early, developing intense, dark color, rich and concentrated flavors, and exceptional balance.
2007 Lancaster Estate Nicole’s Proprietary
Mild winter conditions and a dry spring led to early bud break. Summer was mild with a hot August that encouraged ripening and as summer came to a close – it appeared to be a earlier harvest. The weather cooled and things slowed to a snails pace – pushing us into our usual late October conclusion. Yields for all Bordeaux varietals were extremely low - yet the resulting wine has amazing concentration and balance.
Each vintage a number of our Cabernet vineyard blocks will mature to perfection, producing fruit with a definitive richness of character. From these blocks, our winemaker identifies and hand-selects grapes to craft a proprietary bottling. Estate grown, produced and bottled, our 2007 Nicole’s has ripe raspberry jam, black cherry and chocolate characters, with hints of plum clove and lavender. Rounded out with a velvety, soft and sweet finish. Aged 28 months in French oak barrels, the wine was bottled unfiltered to retain purity of expression. 555 cases produced.