Historically, Labyrinth has pursued a more European approach to Pinot Noir. Grapes are picked a little earlier to preserve the bright red fruit flavors, higher natural acidity coupled with lower alcohols. We prefer oak as a supporting role, not as a flavor and adhere to minimal intervention where possible. Wild fermentation, unracked till bottling, gravity transfer, no fining and minimal filtration.
Cabernet grapes are hand picked and 100% destemmed into open fermenters. A 3 day cold soak extraction follows and wild ferment occurs at 4-5 days. A pure culture yeast is introduced near completion of fermentation to ensure dryness. When fermentation is complete (9-14 days) the wine is pressed to a mix of American and French barrels. Up to 20% new American oak is used. Multiple rackings during the following 10 months integrates the tannins, fruit and acidity with bottling after 12 months. The preferred Labyrinth style is to blend small percentage of other bordeaux varietals, mainly Merlot and Petite Verdot.
Wine making typically follows the Cabernet Sauvignon model, although depending on vintage, pressing may proceed earlier to minimize excessive tannin extraction. Up to 10% blend of Merlot/Petit Verdot may be included to balance structure and texture.
We like to push the limits with Petite Sirah. We like it a little riper, extract a little longer, extended lees contact in a higher percentage of new American oak for up to 15 months.
A blend of up to four varietals, predominantly Merlot and Tempranillo, with some smaller additions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot. Produced to be bold and assertive with full blown red/black fruit (Merlot) and spicy cherry licorice notes (Tempranillo) the wine is aged 10 months in seasoned French and American oak and bottled after 12 months.