2013 Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard
Aurora Vineyard rests on a knoll in a small valley midway up our mountain at 1,200 feet in elevation. Suggestive of its storied past, the soils are riddled with basalt rock and volcanic ash.
The aromas of 2013 Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard offer nuances of spice, smoke, and roasted game meat. On the palate, seductive, dark fruit is seamlessly interlaced with sage and tobacco leaf. Deceptively soft tannins result in an elegant mid-palate and provide the foundation for an unending finish of fruit and pure mineral that is indicative of the site. In its youth, this 2013 vintage of great structure and length benefits greatly from extended decanting prior to service.
2013 Checkerboard Coyote Ridge Vineyard
Coyote Ridge Vineyard is sited at 900 feet in elevation and composed of red clay and shattered basalt rock. The vineyard’s name comes from a fondness for a family of coyotes who protect the vines from burrowing pests.
The 2013 Checkerboard Coyote Ridge bursts with high-toned floral aromas of lavender and rose petals. Unctuous red fruit and dark chocolate covered cherries frame a hedonistic palate impression that is only slightly tamed by layered tobacco and Asian spice flavors. The broad structure of this wine is key to its approachability in its youth, although decanting is highly recommended.
2013 Checkerboard Nash Creek Vineyard
At 2,000 feet in elevation and at the top of the estate is Nash Creek Vineyard. A sloping terrace just below the ridge is the site of the vineyard composed of rhyolite. Due to the elevation, the temperatures are often warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the other Checkerboard vineyards below.
The 2013 Checkerboard Nash Creek is visually stunning at first glance. The deep intensity of color preludes an array of briary fruit yet to be rivaled from the estate. On the palate, ripe blackberry, boysenberry, and plum fruit gradually transform to an expression of pure rock and earth. Firm tannins form an unforgettable structure that ensures this vintage will enjoy extended cellaring. In its youth, the wine benefits greatly from decanting prior to service.