96% Cabernet Sauvignon
1% cabernet Franc
100% Napa Valley
Brilliant medium deep ruby color. Perfumey aromas of cassis, blackberry and ripe plums, with a hint of roasted chestnuts. Intense, rich, penetrating flavors suggesting sweet Bing cherries and chocolate, espresso coffee and dark tobacco; well-balanced and full-bodied, with classic Cabernet richness and complexity. A robust, well-built, and beautiful wine.
Balmy days in March got the season off to a quick start, but unusually cold, rainy weather in April slowed things down. Once it got warm again in May, however, the vines grew very fast and vigorously, requiring more canopy management and shoot thinning than customary. Rapid vegetative growth reduced crop levels slightly. After a couple of hot spells at the end of May and the first part of June, summer was mostly mild, allowing steady maturation of fruit, until the hot weather returned in mid-September to help us achieve the last bit of ripening. The roller coaster ride was over!
The fruit came in at an average of 25.3° Brix, with moderate vineyard yields. Warm fermentation was followed by extended maceration, in order to smooth out the tannins, for a total of 25 days on the skins. The wine averaged 19 months in barrels, 38 percent of which were new. French oak accounted for 88 percent of the total and American oak for 12 percent.