In fire-fighting parlance, a “tillerman” steers the back of a hook & ladder truck. Our founder, Cecil De Loach, held this position in the San Francisco Fire Department. The Tillerman red blend exhibits a deep purple hue, with notes of ripe wild berries, black cherry, and baking spices on the nose. Layered flavors of black currant and raspberry lead to a long finish of dark chocolate spice.
With this blend we strive for a boldly flavored, balanced, well structured red wine. To achieve this, we evaluate various lots and varieties grown at our Los Amigos Ranch. The 2016 vintage yielded delightfully ripe, richly flavored Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Sangiovese. We added Merlot to the blend to add opulence. The must was fermented and aged separately in European and American Oak for 18 months before blending and bottling.
Despite going into the 5th year of drought, 2016 was another fantastic growing year in the Russian River Valley. Yields were larger than that of 2015 while a slightly cooler August allowed the clusters to mature more slowly and evenly than that vintage, providing great flavor and color development.
Chalk Hill is an appellation with, generally, warmer days than in the rest of the Russian River Valley, with a variety of volcanic and alluvial soils across the western foothills of the Mayacamas range, rising 200 to 300 feet in elevation. Here, at our Los Amigos Ranch, just South of Healdsburg, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Sangiovese develop deep, bold flavors.