Planted in 1999, Skid Row Vineyard is the westernmost block at Saracina, marked by black clay and gravelly soils at the base of the foothills. The plant material is the original Bordeaux Clone 4. It is significant not for what it produces, but for what it doesn’t. It is the lowest-yielding commercial Malbec clone available, and on the property typical yields are one and a half tons per acre. It produces concentrated fruit without the need to pick at ultra-high sugars. The harvest of 2019 was another dream vintage, with adequate rains and a long and even growing season.

The grapes were harvested by hand on Sept. 27, de-stemmed, and gently fed into the fermenter with 50% whole berries. Native yeast fermentation began in earnest eight days later and was managed with two aerating pump-overs per day until dryness. The wine was drained directly into Taransaud barrels, 15% of which were new. Native malolactic fermentation was complete by early January. The wine rested on light lees for 19 months total and was bottled on July 21, 2021.

This lovely rendition of Malbec reveals black plum and blueberry fruits with a cedar note in the background. The palate is polished, with lush, rounded tannins and great depth of flavor. Pair it with a peppery soy balsamic marinated steak and portobello mushrooms, both on the grill. Perfect in any season.