The 2014 growing season was worthy of a standing ovation at Bootlegger’s Hill. This follow up vintage to the debut 2013 saw some great conditions. The mild winter signaled an early bud break in March, followed by a dry, warm spring with near instantaneous flowering. In spite of Mother Nature trying to give us a scare (a few days of wet weather and then a cold snap), warmer temperatures returned in time for even fruit set and veraison. The season unfolded largely without incident after that.

Despite the drought we continue to experience in California, some winter rains gave enough nourishment to produce a healthy crop full of rich flavor. Careful irrigation at key point in the growing season helped keep the fruit in tip-top condition. In order to survive one of the driest growing seasons, our crews also relied on meticulous pruning and smart farming choices. This included limiting yields to one cluster per shoot in many key blocks. The goal being to afford the vines at both vineyards the energy they needed to ripen their crop properly and without undue stress.

Bootlegger’s sits in that classic fog layer of the Russian River Valley. Towards the end of August, a stint of fog slowed down ripening but only for a week. Soon, temperatures rose to become warmer than normal, and the pace of ripening quickened. Harvest began and, as in prior years, we elected to pick in multiple small passes to create as many individual lots as we felt the vintage demanded. From these small lots, kept separate and distinct from pick to barrel, we are able to unlock the final composition of this wine.


Aromatics: Bright yet delicate cherry with red soft fruits and baking spice. Floral hints of rose, violet and higher fruit notes. Touch of earthiness and dried herbs.

Flavors: Darker red berries, ripe red plum and bright cherry. A summer pudding of crunchy fresh berries that saturates and fills the palate.

Mouthfeel: Fine-grained tannins combine with focused acidity to create an immersive texture and silken mouthfeel.

”In order to survive one of the driest growing seasons, our crews also relied on meticulous pruning and smart farming choices.”


Our plan was always to release the wines once they had time to develop. We’ve always believed that a little extra time in our cellar makes the experience a little better in yours. While these wines are enjoyable now, they will certainly benefit from age and cellar gracefully over the coming years. If possible, we recommend decanting before enjoying.


Harvest Dates: 9/9/14 till 9/18/14
Clones: 23, 37, 115, Calera, Elite, Pommard
Alcohol: 14.2%    pH: 3.6    Acidity: 6.2
Production: 1124 c/s    Yield per acre: 2.1 tons