91% Cabernet Sauvignon
3% Cabernet Franc
100% Napa Valley
September 13 to October 18
Aromas of berry, vanilla, spice and dried herbs. Medium-full body, juicy mouth-filling flavors of sweet fruit and oak on a long lingering finish.
Until the very end, 2002 was a mild season with few hot spells, and maturation was slow. It started icily, with frost in April and rains in May. After veraison (the coloring of the fruit), warm days and cool nights accelerated ripening, and by September the real heat kicked in, leading to a compressed harvest which began two weeks later than the previous year. Intense flavors, husky structure and excellent balance were the happy result of the cool summer, and richness the outcome of warm picking weather.
Grapes were picked at an average of 25.9° Brix, with yields of less than four tons to the acre. Warm fermentation was followed by extended maceration, for a total of 22 days on the skins. The wine averaged 16 months in oak barrels, 40 percent of which were new. Of the oak employed, 83 percent was French and 17 percent was American.