In the current decade we have had two of the coolest growing seasons, two of the warmest growing seasons, and most recently in 2016 was the earliest bud break, so the decade of records continues with one of the latest bud breaks recorded. The cold winter with significant accumulation of snow that remained on the ground for about half of December until almost March, with the huge pile of snow we stacked in the parking lot sticking around until the end of March. The cold temperatures during the winter, coupled with the frigid ground temperatures that are uncommon for Red Mountain were significant factors in a very delayed bud break in our estate vineyard. The plants finally awoke with bud break in late April, over 7 weeks later than in 2016. With a late start to the year, spring frosts were not an issue. Moderate to cool temperatures in May and June, coupled with a significant number of cloudy days during that time period kept development of the vines lagging more typical years and significantly behind the very early 2016 vintage. Warmer, but not overly hot days in July and August allowed the plants to develop rapidly, so by mid-August the vintage was only 7 to 10 days later than a typical vintage with the most of the whites and early ripening red varieties harvested by the third week of September. Much like 2012, a considerable amount of smoke from forest fires in Oregon, California, Washington and British Columbia brought a veil of smoke to Red Mountain for several weeks delaying ripening of the later red varieties. As in 2012 the smoke density, while really annoying for humans was far below the density to be of concern for smoke taint on the grapes at Red Mountain. The thick veil of smoke was very effective at blocking the sunlight and impaired the photosynthesis of the grape plants, thereby delaying the ripening. Once the smoke cleared and the grape plants continued to mature the fruit, the later ripening varieties from our estate vineyard were harvested in the latter half of October, about a full month after the early ripening red varieties. This again created the two part harvest my staff wishes we could schedule for every vintage. We are very pleased with the resulting wines in the barrels. The Merlot and Syrah harvested in September show the rich mid-palate that is more typical in the warmer years, while the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and other late ripening varieties show the huge structure, balance and depth that are typically associated with some of the cooler years.