1999 Cabernet Sauvignon
Good Winter rains gave way to an even budbreak. The challenge came in April with several days of frost and hail; we were nervous farmers but survived without damage. We began harvesting the Cabernet on October 12.
To produce this Cabernet, we fermented the juice with the skins, pumping the juice from the bottom of the tank and sprinkling it over the skins. We continued “pumping over” through fermentation to ensure thorough color and flavor extraction. 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, this Cabernet was aged in both oak barrels and tanks.
With this vintage of Cabernet, we produced two other Bordeaux grape varieties – Petit Verdot and Malbec intensify our wine’s color and add complexity to the midpalate. We made three barrels of each and after many blending trials decided to add both; the 1999 Cabernet is 1.5% Petit Verdot and 1.7% Malbec. Although they are difficult to discern, we believe their addition was successful because they added depth and richness to our wines. It was bottled in August 2001.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in January 2018, we tasted the 1999 and here are our notes: Briars, cassis, carpaccio, crushed mint, picholine olives, fresh coffee, dark chocolate. Rich complexities, sweet fruit middle, silky finish.