2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
The Winter and Spring of 2019 were wet and cold with over 55” of rain. Summer temperatures were ideal with warm days and cool nights. We began harvest on October 21, picking half of our Cabernet fruit. Two days later, the Kincade Fire started and reached our property behind the winery. The remaining grapes were picked on October 30 and 31. We made and aged the two wines separately and ultimately, after many tastings, decided to use only the grapes harvested before the fires for our 2019 Hafner Cabernet. (To learn more about the wine picked post-fire, read our blog on smoke taint.)
To produce this Cabernet, we sorted the fruit 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 oak barrels. (30% of the barrels are new.) We added 11% Petit Verdot and 7% Malbec to our 2019 Cabernet to increase the wine’s depth and length. We bottled just 1,416 cases in August, 2021 (less than half of our normal production).
Fruit forward and young, the 2019 Cabernet opens with ripe fruit aromas of blackberries, Bing cherries and cassis; the aroma is enriched by cinnamon and vanilla bean notes giving the wine a nice complexity. On the palate, it has a lively, soft texture with flavors of dark chocolate, Picholine olives, nutmeg and steak tartare. Long and lingering on the palate, it has a toasted bread finish. At five years of age, the 2019 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 fifteen more years.
23.0° Brix sugar
0.65 g/100 mls TA
0.62 g/100 mls TA