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The Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon was the third appellation wine to be introduced in our Cabernet series of very small bottlings dedicated to the benchland sub-appellations of Napa Valley. This bottling marks the seventh vintage of the Oakville Cabernet and celebrates Etude’s long-term relationship with one of the most highly regarded winegrowers in Napa Valley. Grapes were sourced exclusively from Block 6 of the Vine Hill Ranch, nestled along the hills of the Mayacamas Mountain Range at the south end of the Oakville AVA. The Phillips family has carefully managed this alluvial benchland vineyard for two generations, which is home to some of the most expressive and concentrated Cabernet grapes in the Napa Valley.
“I love the nose here with blackberry, blueberry and lavender. Some violet, too. Full body, linear and so beautiful. Licorice. Oyster shell. A precision and grace that you will like. Drink now or hold." - James Suckling
The 2014 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon is one of remarkable depth and complexity. Exhibiting intense black cherry, black plum and black currant fruit notes, supported by hints of graphite, black licorice and violets. This Cabernet is exceptionally concentrated and balanced with particularly integrated tannins and a smooth, lengthy finish. It will continue to open up and evolve into an outstanding wine over the next several decades, if you can keep your hands off it for that long.
Despite drought conditions, the 2014 vintage proved to be ideal, with excellent quality reminiscent of 2012. The winter was one of the driest on record in California, but substantial rains in early spring were timely and set up the vines for a strong start. Summer temperatures were milder than expected with no extremes, and after early bud break and veraison, harvest was unusually early in 2014. The overall dry season made for a short harvest and was ideal for producing concentrated and balanced Cabernet Sauvignons.
Etude’s philosophy remains steadfast and this Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon was crafted with very minimal winemaking intervention. The grapes were cold soaked for 3-5 days and an extended maceration period followed fermentation to help modify the depth and mouthfeel of the wine, and to fully extract color, flavor and aromatics. The young wine was then racked into small French oak barrels where it aged for 22 months.