Airfield Estates Dauntless, Yakima Valley 2019
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Airfield Estates is a fourth generation family farm based in the Yakima Valley cultivating a wide range of premium grapes and crafting estate grown wines of exceptional quality. As the name suggests, Airfield Estates has ties to aviation. A portion of the family property operated as a training base for hundreds of Army Air Corps pilots during World War II. The pride, passion, and dedication of these heroes provide a great source of inspiration as we strive to pay tribute to them with our wines.
Our 2019 Dauntless comes from our Estate Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. We carefully select each vari- etal that goes into this blend from blocks that are the best suitable for each grape varietal, our goal when creating a blend of this caliber is to see a bounty of fruits, a nice touch of balanced oak and soft tannins to create a well-balanced wine. Harvested towards the end of October at optimal maturity the grapes were sent to various size fermenters, the grapes were then cold soak for 48 before being inoculated with several different strains of yeast. Our extraction approach is to be aggressive at the beginning of fer- mentation, this allows us to extract the color and flavors we look for in our Merlot, Cab Franc’s Cabernet Sauvignons. Once alcohol levels start to increase throughout fermentation, we then take a much gentler approach to our extraction as to not overly extract tannins and harshness with our end goal being a soft and lush finish, yet still maintaining balance and structure. After fermentation, each lot was then sent to a variety of New and Neutral French Oak Barrels and inoculated for Malo-lactic fermentation. After Ma- lo-lactic fermentation is completed, each barrel had its lees stirred twice a month for up to five months, this process helps build structure and roundness while enhancing the mouthfeel and acting as a fining agent to naturally soften the wines. The final blend consisted of aging in 100% French Oak for 15 months, with 25% being new French oak and 35% 1 to 3-year-old French oak and 40% Neutral Oak.