2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
Substantial Winter rains and cool temperatures delayed the start of the growing season by three weeks, then rain during bloom lessened our crop by 15%. Thankfully, mild Summer temperatures allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and develop rich flavors. Harvest began on October 19.
To produce red wine, the juice is fermented with its skins to extract both their 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 color and flavor extraction, we pumped juice from the bottom of the tank and sprinkled it over the cap throughout fermentation.
Following the Bordeaux tradition of extended maceration, the wine remained with its skins for another two weeks to soften the young tannins. We then drained the wine, pressed the skins and moved the Cabernet into our caves where it was aged in French (80%) and American (20%) oak barrels. During its first Winter, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation which lowered its acidity and added richness to the palate. In its second year, this Cabernet was aged in both oak barrels and oak tanks. After many blending trials, we decided to add 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec to the 2011 Cabernet to increase the wine’s depth and length. We bottled it in August 2013.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in January 2017, we tasted the 2011 and here are our notes: Cherries, black pepper, picholine olives and nutmeg aromas. Lively, bright flavors of mint, forest floor, bittersweet chocolate and toasty vanilla.