Liberty School Cuvee 2008
The Central Coast of California is an ideal growing region for making world-class wines. As Paso Robles gains notoriety for its stellar blended wines, the Liberty School Cuvee offers itself as the latest example. With over thirty years of history making single varietal wines, Liberty School is proud to introduce its first red blend. Adding Liberty School Cuvee to the portfolio makes sense as the winemaking team oversees some of the best and most diverse vineyards in the Central Coast. A blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Viognier, this cuvee harmoniously melds the best characteristics of each varietal to make a complex and unique blend.
Upon harvest, the grapes were de-stemmed, lightly crushed and placed in open top and closed stainless steel tanks, depending on the vineyard lot and varietal. A cold soak prior to fermentation allows for greater extraction of tannins. This practice allows extra time for the juice to interact with the grape skins and increases flavors. Steady pump-overs for 10 to 12 days after fermentation begins allows all the natural sugar to convert to alcohol until completely dry. Additional post-ferment aeration of the wine helped integrate tannins prior to going into barrel. Separated into lots by varietal, the wine is then placed in primarily neutral French oak barrels and aged approximately 14 months. Blending occurs after the first racking. The Cuvee is lightly filtered one time prior to bottling.
The Liberty School Cuvée displays bright red fruit flavors on the nose. With accents of smoke and pepper, the fruit-forward blend shows fine grain tannins which are reminiscent of wines from the southern Rhone Valley. The predominant grape, Syrah, shows off its jammy, strawberry and plum-like flavors. Petite Sirah adds deep ruby color and tannin structure. Smaller amounts of Grenache soften the wine and add needed balance. Mourvèdre brings an element of spice to the blend, while small amounts of Viognier add floral aromatics and color stabilization. Well balanced and full-bodied, this wine can be cellared for five to seven years.