1994 Cabernet Sauvignon
Light winter rains, moderate summer temperatures and warm fall days created the ideal growing season which intensified the Cabernet fruit flavors. Harvested five weeks after the Chardonnay, the fruit for this Cabernet came from our oldest vineyard planted in 1969, the Old Mill block, and the newer Fox block. Harvest started on October 12 and continued through 19.
The color for red wines comes from the grape skins. Unlike white wine production, we ferment the juice with the red skins to extract as much color and flavor as possible. To start fermentation, the must (skins and juice) was inoculated with Pasteur Champagne yeast. CO2 gas (a by-product of fermentation) bubbled through the skins causing them to float to the top and form the “cap”. To ensure thorough extraction, we pumped juice from the bottom of the tank 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 leaving 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, all of the 1994 was aged in barrels in our caves. The grapes for this wine came into the winery with excellent balance-good acidity and soft tannins-so no fining was needed. This Cabernet was bottled in August 1996.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in February 2016, we tasted the 1994 and here are our notes: Violets, cranberries, blackberries, briars, sweet vanilla, cigar box, mint, black pepper, carpaccio. Round, rich, bright fruit flavors, well-balanced, lovely finish.