We have used Ryan McGee for years. We effectively share a state-of-the-art bottling line with a group of our fellow Napa Valley wineries by bringing the "bottling line in a truck" to Long Meadow Ranch about four times a year.
Partners Andy Ryan and Brian McGee also bring their expertise and experience honed by bottling almost everyday - something we could never do on our own.
And then, after the bottles are sparged with nitrogen, filled with wine, capsuled, and labeled in a blink of the eye, they are packed into case boxes and stacked onto pallets.
After a night or two resting in the cave, the wines will be off to our warehouse.
We bottled our everyday favorite Ranch House Red - with our whimsical cork imprinted with "Whoa!" and my favorite horse, E-Z, showcased on the label. But, the highlight was a 55-case lot of our first ever Merlot from the 2006 vintage.
Last year we selected a few barrels of Merlot for a "Left Bank" blend we made for the Napa Valley Premiere barrel auction.
We loved the wine so much that we made another cuvee to savor for ourselves and to offer exclusively in our tasting room. A few lucky members of the LMR Corral Club may also have the chance to try this wine, too.
This rich, succulent wine has the wonderfully graceful mouth feel and long finish that distinguishes the wines from our ranch. The inky black color is also remarkable.
In a few weeks when the "bottle shock" from bottling is passed, we look forward to savoring this wine - probably with a grass-fed Highland steak.