2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
A slow start to Winter made us nervous, but the rains finally came in mid-January and come they did. We ended the season with twice our normal rainfall - 65”! With the exception of a few hot days in July, we had moderate Summer temperatures which allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. We harvested October 8-13, finishing a day before the first rain.
To produce this Cabernet, we first drained 10% of the juice off to intensify the overall color of the wine. Then we sorted the fruit (to eliminate leaves and stems), and fermented the juice with its skins to extract both 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 to lower its acidity and add 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 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec to the 2016 Cabernet to increase the wine’s depth and length. The wine was bottled in August 2018.
Young and fruit driven, the 2016 Cabernet opens with ripe aromas of blackberries, raspberries and Bing cherries; those lovely berry notes carry through to the palate. It has a supple, rich texture that is enhanced by notes of Niçoise olives, fresh mint, sweet vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. At five years of age, the 2016 seems quite young in comparison to its predecessors, but it has the structure and richness to age well for at least twelve more years.
24.0° Brix sugar
0.63 g/100 mls acidity
0.58 g/100 mls acidity