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Hafner Vineyard

2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

Vineyard

2017 was a great Winter with plenty of rain and cold temperatures. By April, our year-to-date rain total was 63”. With the exception of a few hot days in June and then again in early July, we had moderate Summer temperatures allowing the grapes to ripen evenly. We began harvest on October 15. 

Cellar

To produce this Cabernet, first we 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 flavor and color 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 2% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec to the 2017 Cabernet to increase the wine’s depth and length. This wine was bottled in August 2019.

Drinkability

Young and fruit driven, the 2017 Cabernet opens with ripe fruit aromas of blackberries and Bing cherries; it also has a lovely floral presence of violets and rose petals. Those aromas carry through to the palate. It has a lively, soft texture that is enhanced by notes of Niçoise olives, fresh mint, nutmeg and steak tartare. Long and lingering on the palate, it has a bittersweet chocolate finish. At five years of age, the 2017 seems young in comparison to its predecessors, but (like all of our Cabernets) it has the structure and richness to age well for at least twelve more years.

2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

At Harvest:

23.0° Brix sugar
0.67 g/100 mls acidity
3.48 pH

At Bottling:

13.8% alcohol
0.59 g/100 mls acidity
3.66 pH