The inagural release of the Fortitude, the 2013 vintage unfolds slowly, demonstrating both power and finesse in the highly extracted aromas and favors. It will reward extended aging.
Appellation: Rutherford, Oakville, Howell Mountain and St. Helena
Barrel Aging: 22 Months, 100% New French Oak
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Production: 200 cases
The 2013 Fortitude unfolds slowly, demonstrating both power and ¬finesse in the highly extracted aromas and flavors. There is substantial structure from the 2013 vintage, which supports an expansive palate saturated with blackberry liqueur, dried black cherry, dark chocolate, sweet pipe tobacco and caramel. This is a huge wine that can easily balance the sweet oak notes from new French oak balance. It will reward extended aging; decant first if you can’t wait.
To give the 2013 Fortitude its layered complexity, we selected Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from our favorite vineyards in different soils and mesoclimates of Napa Valley. Hewitt Vineyard (47%) in the Rutherford AVA is located on alluvial fan soils on bench lands near the Mayacamas Mountains, which flank Napa Valley on the west. Polaris Vineyard (11%) is rooted in iron-rich, volcanic soils of the high Howell Mountain plateau on the valley’s east side. We selected the balance (8%) from a vineyard on Crystal Springs Road at the base of Howell Mountain in the St. Helena AVA, which is located in a region with high amounts of obsidian in the unique soils.
“If there is an ideal vintage, this was it,” says Winemaker Trevor Durling. The 2013 growing season surpassed even the highly touted 2012 vintage in grape quality. A winter with very low rainfall was followed by a dry, warm spring and summer. These factors resulted in balanced vine canopies, good fruit set and desirably small Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Perfect weather throughout harvest fostered the highly extracted and expressive flavors revealed in our first release of Provenance Fortitude.
After hand harvesting the fruit, we gently sorted it first as clusters and again, after destemming, as grapes. Three days of cold soaking before fermentation gently extracted the deep purple color and rich varietal flavors from the skins. A portion of the wine was fermented in barrels, with the balance in stainless steel, to enhance the plush texture of the wine and integrate fruit and oak character. Following fermentation, extended skin contact and gentle pressing, the wine completed malolactic fermentation in barrels to round the acidity. Aging in entirely new French oak barrels wove toasty oak tones through the dark-fruit character.