The summer of 2004 was long and hot. This resulted in clean, unblemished, very ripe fruit. Thanks to meticulous and exhaustive (four passes) fruit-thinning, the grapes reached optimum ripeness. Average yields were 1.75 to 2 tons per acre.
The grapes were sent through the crusher-destemmer with the rollers set wide apart to retain a larger number of whole berries. The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks after 3 days of cold soaking. Pump overs were done with splashing of the free run and then gently irrigating the cap. This method insures that only the softest tannins are extracted. After the fermentation was complete, the free run was drained into oak barrels. The must was pressed and, after clarification, was also moved to oak barrels. The malolactic fermentation was completed in the barrels. After 14 months in the barrels the ASSEMBLAGE was bottled.
“…Massoud’s 2004 Assemblage seems to incorporate in its aromatic panoply the resin and blueberry typical of Petit Verdot...as well as licorice and diverse black fruits. Dense and intense on the palate, this full-bodied wine will...need at least another year before it shows its real personality. An impressively long, low-toned finish offers great promise.”
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate - (88-91) - June 30, 2006
Appellation: North Fork of Long Island
Variety: 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot
Cooperage: 70% new and older French oak barrels, 30% older American oak barrels
Total acidity: 6.6 g/l
Harvest Dates: October 13 & 27, 2004
Brix at Harvest: 22.0
Residual Sugar: 0.2%
Bottling Date: May 9, 2006
Release Date: October 15, 2006
Production: 575 cases