1995 Cabernet Sauvignon
Ah, the beginning of El Nino…in January we had 27 days of rain, by May we had twice the normal rainfall. This coupled with a cool growing season led to a late harvest with fortunately, no rain. Harvested five weeks after the Chardonnay, the fruit for this wine came from our oldest vineyard planted in 1969, the Old Mill block, and the newer Fox block. Our Cabernet harvest began October 12th and continued through the 24th.
To produce a red wine, the juice was fermented with the skins to extract its color and flavor. CO2 gas (a by-product of fermentation) bubbled up 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 alcoholic 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 (80%) and American (20%) oak barrels in our caves, during its first winter, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation which reduced the acidity and added richness. For its second year, the 1995 was aged in oak barrels and tanks. This Cabernet received a light egg white fining to soften its tannins. It was bottled in August 1997.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in March 2016, we tasted the 1995 and here are our notes: Elegant. Dried cherries, cedar, black trumpet mushrooms, forest floor, mint, new leather, toast, sweet vanilla. Bright fruit, lively on the palate, well-balanced.