Knights Valley, Sonoma County
"The 2017 growing season was defined by plentiful rain in the winter followed by mild conditions in spring and summer. To preserve the natural acidity in the grapes, picking began early on September 6th in the Helena Montana vineyard. The wines were resting in barrel prior to the Sonoma County Tubbs fire in October, therefore remained unaffected by any smoke taint. The 2017 Helena Montana wine possesses a deep-purple core with soft violet hues. Reminiscent of a young Bordeaux, aromatic flavors of fresh raspberry, black cherry and dried bay leaf are framed by French oak-derived nuances of toasted cardamom and vanilla. Well-structured and full-bodied, the wine offers brilliant acidity and refined tannins bringing levity, focus and balance to the long, elegant finish.
Lush, velvety and opulent, Helena Montana chronicles the terroir at this steep, Knights Valley hillside site. The signature attributes include blackberries, currants, violets, chocolate, spice and licorice. The palate offers deep, expansive flavors supported by soft, silky tannins. While Helena Montana typically shows well in its youth, it is a wine that will expand and improve with age.
Running northeast to southwest at an elevation of 950 feet above sea level, the 60-acre Helena Montana vineyard is marked by rolling hills and steep benches that tilt up to 30 degrees. It features ﬁrm, dense, white/yellow gravelly loam soils that drain extremely well. The combination of hills, knolls and trees helps route cool, westerly winds away from the vines. Helena Montana Cabernets are concentrated and powerful with black fruit flavors, spice, minerals and muscular tannins. Pierre finds the Cabernet from Helena Montana to be reminiscent of the wines of Margaux."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate