The 2012 Francis Tannahill Sundown is a dark almost impenetrable purple/black color from the rim to the center. Amazing aromas of black pepper, raspberries, cassis, blueberries, blackberries, smoked game, crushed stones and leather all vie for attention when the wine is first poured into the glass. Further aeration yields aromas of garrigue (wild lavender/thyme/rosemary), violet, incense and iron. In the mouth the wine is succulent, powerful, intense, concentrated and wild. Flavors of smoke, dark red and purple fruits, leather and wet stones all combine on the attack and roll on through the mid-palate. A strong and rich tannic structure balanced by ripe fruit hints at a long life for this wine. Long and complex the finish lingers on and on with flavors of cassis and leather. The 2012 Francis Tannahill Sundown straddles the imaginary border between Europe and America - taking hints and cues from each and becoming itself and unique in the process.
This wine is a blend of three varieties from three vineyards - 75% Grenache, 23% Syrah adn 2% Tempranillow from the Sundown Vineyard, Aguila Vineyard and Garnier Vineyard. Aguila is a small vineyard in the Rogue Valley on silty/volcanic ash soils. It is in a much cooler area of the valley. It is in a much cooler area of the Valley and the Tempranillo was harvested with meager yields very late. Sundown is LIVE certified and owned and managed by Don and Traute Moore. Planted on a stunning southeast facing terraced slope on sandy, powdery soil mostly composed of volcanic ash, the vineyard is loaded with chunks of quartz over hard bedrock. Sundown sits at a fairly high altitude which allows the nights to be cool even in this very warm climate. These changes in temperature give a density to the wine while retaining great finesse. Garnier Vineyard is located in the Hood River Valley and planted on very rocky alluvial soils not far from the river. Yields are very low and due to the almost ever present winds the skins are very thick and harvest very late. The grapes from all of the vineyards were fermented separately in French oak, upright, open top tanks and pumped over 1 - 3 times a day with 100% whole clusters. After the fermentation, they were pressed lightly and settled overnight then racked to French oak, 20% of which was new. The wine was racked, blended and bottled in late January 2015 after spending 27 months in barrel.