1998 Cabernet Sauvignon
A long, wet Winter and Spring led to a slow start in the vineyard. Budbreak and bloom were two weeks later than normal. Cool Summer days allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and develop richer flavors. Harvest was a month later than normal (and rain free!). On October 21, we began harvesting the Cabernet.
To produce this red wine, we fermented the juice with the skins to extract as much color and flavor as possible. 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 color and flavor extraction, we pumped the juice from the bottom of the tank and sprinkled it over the cap throughout fermentation.
Following the Bordeaux tradition of extended maceration, the wine stayed on the skins for another two weeks to soften the Cabernet tannins. We then drained the wine and pressed the skins. 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 lowered its acidity and added richness. In its second year, the 1998 was aged in both oak barrels and tanks. This Cabernet received a light egg white fining to soften its tannins. It was bottled in August 2000.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in March 2016, we tasted the 1998 and here are our notes: Sweet vanilla, cassis, crushed mint, dark plums, cigar box, nutmeg. Soft entry, supple, dark chocolate notes on the finish.