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Plata Wine Partners
Our Winemakers are modern-day Buccaneers as they naturally like to explore from ridge-top to valley floor in search of the ripest blocks to bring to the winery. After harvest, they plunder the cellar to find the best of the lots to craft the finest wines for all to enjoy.
Head Winemaker: Alison Crowe
Appellation: 100% California
Buccaneer California Cabernet Sauvignon is deep ruby in color and has intense, ripe berry aromas followed by flavors of blackberry, cherry, cocoa, licorice, and a hint of leather. The bold mouthfeel, velvety tannins, and super-long finish add up to a spectacularly bold Buccaneer Cabernet.
We picked individual vineyard blocks with the perfect balance between ripeness, sweetness, acidity and flavor and then fermented them separately in stainless steel tanks. The lots were then oak-aged with a mix of French, American and medium/medium+ toast levels to integrate the cask aged characters with the robust berry aromas and flavors. Patient months of aging yielded “elevated” characters of leather, black tea and a little roasted fig.
As Buccaneers, we plundered this Cabernet largely from our Paso Robles and Alexander Valley vineyards while adding a little Lodi old vine fruit for a little more density to complete this luscious wine.
Buccaneer California Pinot Noir is ruby in color and has ripe berry and vanilla aromas followed by flavors of strawberry, cherry, cocoa, and a hint of spice. The smooth mouthfeel, velvety tannins and super-long finish add up to a spectacularly balanced and refined Pinot Noir.
We carefully picked individual vineyard blocks with the perfect balance between ripeness, sweetness, acidity and flavor and then fermented them separately in stainless steel tanks. The lots were then oak-aged with a mix of French, American and medium/medium+ toast levels to integrate the cask aged characters with the ripe berry aromas and flavors. Patient months of aging yielded “elevated” characters of cherry, strawberry, toast and a little spice.
As Buccaneers, we plundered this Pinot Noir largely from our vineyards in Monterey County, Sonoma Coast and Santa Barbara County. The range of vineyards and growing areas creates a Pinot Noir that is complex yet approachable and luscious on the palate.
Ripe, jammy Zinfandel from Lodi forms the backbone of this robust blend, layered with a little Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah for power. Rich with raspberry and ripe black fruit aromas, the Buccaneer Zinfandel is full bodied with a bright berry finish. A mixture of heavy and medium toast, as well as American and French oak, balanced out and added vanilla, leather and exotic spice notes.
It was critical to achieve good fruitiness and ripeness for this Zinfandel and we made sure to get sugars and flavors right where we wanted them. We destemmed the grapes and then fermented each lot in stainless steel tanks so we could control the fermentation temperature carefully. When making Zinfandel, you want enough heat in the ferment to extract the flavors and tannins but not so much as to blow away the fruity aromas. 100% stainless steel fermented, oak-aged 17 months, 40% French, 60% American, 60% new wood.
Lodi and Paso Robles got plenty of heat in 2015, which is ideal for getting Zinfandel to the stage of ripeness you need for optimum fruit flavor and texture. Luckily, Lodi and Paso Robles delivered, as they are warmer areas of the state.
Every winemaker fantasizes about making a Big Red Blend. It’s the kind of wine we like to drink and the kind of wine we want to share with our friends after a long hard day. Dead Drift Red is a bold concoction that blends the best of many varietal worlds: ripe fruit from Paso Robles Cabernet, structure from Monterey Merlot, power from Lodi Petite Sirah, grace from Alexander Valley Merlot and lush plushness from a little Lodi Zinfandel.
Individual lots of fruit were harvested separately according to ripeness and balance of acidity. We picked the grapes early in the morning to bring them cool into the winery. They were 100% de-stemmed then fermented in separate batches in stainless steel tanks. The wine was pumped-over twice daily and the temperature was controlled at 85 degrees F to extract ideal color and flavor. The fermenting wines were tasted daily and their skins were pressed off once they achieved optimum tannins. Each lot was then evaluated before going into the blend. 100% stainless steel fermented, oak-aged 18 months, 50% French, 50% American, 40% new wood.
Like, true buccaneers, we searched high and low amongst our vineyard sources tocollect the components for Dead Drift Red. Whether in Paso Robles, Lodi or Alexander Valley, our vineyards have well drained soils and plenty of heat to ripen grapes beautifully. The long “hang time” creates the luscious richness balanced with the smooth finish.