2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Our estate vineyards planted in 1990 on the Napa Valley hillsides east of the Silverado Trail provided the grapes. A variety of exposures increased the wines complexity. Western slopes: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Eastern slopes: Cabernet Franc and a second Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard.
Crop level and vine growth were closely monitored to achieve balance and intensify fruit character. The vineyards are densely planted (1,240 vines per acre) and vertically trellised. The rocky soil with moderate amount of clay averaging three feet in depth provides excellent drainage.
Dark garnet in color, this wine has aromas of dark cherry and cedar box with a touch of vanilla. Raspberry, currant and licorice notes wrap around the palate with a long, smooth, lingering finish. Amazingly approachable now, this Cabernet Sauvignon will age gracefully over the next 15 years.
Our Estate program follows traditional French winemaking practices. Techniques include the use of extended maceration (each lot averaged 25 days on the grape skins) and frequent pumping-over two times a day. The 2011 vintage aged for 16 months in 45% new Troncais, Nevers, and Alliers Oak (thin-staved, medium & medium-plus toast Chateau Ferre barrels). Tonnelleries: Tarransaud, Darnajou, Nadalie and Soury barrels were topped monthly and racked every 6 months. To preserve fruit intensity and body, the wine was not filtered prior to bottling.
What began with a wet winter and spring continued with rainfall into mid-June. Few high heat events occurred, but Pierre, our vineyard manager and winemaker, managed more open vine canopies to ensure sunlight, warmth and good air circulation around the grape clusters. Dry, sunny weather in the Fall provided ideal ripening and picking conditions on the Silverado Bench. Wines of the 2011 vintage will see excellent color and elegant flavors.