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2015 Blueline Estate 36-24-36
2015 represented the fourth year of California drought, replicating conditions of the mid-1970s. Some of those '70s vintages remain legendary for their classic structural core, likely a function of drought-induced small berry size, yielding exceptional longevity and freshness. The 2012 to 2015 vintages are playing out much the same. Though different in character, these four vintages share a depth of concentration, fresh fruit expression and tightly woven inner core.
Where the 2015 vintage distinguishes itself is in a greater level of saturated fruit expression. The 2015 wines are dense in color and mouth coating in texture. They possess more lush fruit than the 2013s and greater depth than the 2014s. As Winemaker Tony Biagi notes, “2015 is right behind 2013 in terms of quality. The previous three years of drought, coupled with a weak El Niño year with its dry spring, summer and early fall, has produced opulent, full throttle wines. The vintage reminds me of 2008, which also delivered opulent, forward wines.”
Winemaker Tony Biagi’s métier, 36-24-36 is his interpretation of the five best barrels in our Blueline Estate cellar. There are no varietal restrictions - sometimes featuring all five Bordeaux varietals, sometimes just two as is the case with this vintage. Dark, dense, yet structured and vibrant, toasted hazelnut aromas are accented by Asian five spice and black cassis. Notes of soy-based Hoisin provides a rich umami character that beautifully balances the dark fruits. Expansive on the palate with a broad mouth filling texture, the wine is centered around a tight core and arching finish. Our Blueline wines always showcase a flinty minerality and vibrance that lift their richness, and this bottling is no exception.
~ Jeff Smith, August 2017