1993 Cabernet Sauvignon
This was a challenging year at Hafner Vineyard. Half of our 96 acres were not producing, being replanted as protection against the vine – killing bug, phylloxera. Then heavy rains fell during the flowering of the remaining Cabernet grapes. Those rains greatly reduced pollination, resulting in our lowest harvest ever. The smaller crop however, resulted in grapes of intensified flavors for the Cabernet wine of that year. The Cabernet for this wine came from our oldest vineyard, planted in 1969, the Old Mill block, and the newer Fox block. Harvested September 26 through October 3.
To produce a red wine, you must extract the color from the skins during fermentation. We inoculated the must (skins and juice) with Pasteur Champagne yeast. CO2 gas (a by-product of fermentation) bubbled through the skins causing them to flat to the top and form the “cap”. To ensure thorough extraction, we pumped juice from the bottom of the thank and sprinkled it over the cap to increase the wine’s color and flavor.
Two weeks of extended maceration followed fermentation. This Bordeaux tradition of holding the wine with the skins actually softened the Cabernet tannins. The wine was then drained and the skins pressed. The first year of aging was in French oak barrels and tanks. For its second year, the 1993 was aged only in barrels. Fined in June to soften the wine, this Cabernet was bottled in August 1995.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in February 2016, we tasted the 1993 and here are our notes: Plums, dried cherries, cassis, black trumpet mushrooms, mint, dark chocolate, cigar box. Soft, supple, silky. Long, lingering finish.