Hook & Ladder ‘The Tillerman’ Estate Bottled Red Blend 2020, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County, California

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 their Los Amigos Ranch, just South of Healdsburg, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Sangiovese develop deep, bold flavors. “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. As every vintage is unique, so too is our Tillerman blend, with each varietal component complementing the whole, after aging separately in European and American Oak for 18 months. The wine: 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. This years’ Tillerman red blend displays a mix of dark maroon and scarlet tones with aromas of cinnamon, spicy Bing cherry, and anise. Full flavors of ripe fig and blackberry abound while finishing with trace coffee and dark cocoa covered currants.”