The wine for this exclusive bottling was selected from our favorite barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from Napa Valley’s Rutherford AVA. Hand sorting the grapes on tables at the winery, both before and after destemming, ensured the highest quality. Definitely cellar worthy, this wine will gain complexity for more than a decade and will then remain on a plateau for many more years.
Barrel Aging: 20 Months, 100% French Oak (76% New)
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Production: 335 cases
Tom and Chris selected this wine, offered exclusively at the winery, from their favorite barrels of Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. The deep aromas and flavors reveal saturated brambly blackberry, cassis and dark-chocolate-and-cherry truffle character. Hints of sassafras, pipe tobacco, mineral and warm, dusty earth mingle with toasty oak spices from barrel aging. A sensual sensation of rich, sweet dark fruit coats the palate, while integrated, textured tannins provide a firm frame and promise even greater complexity with aging. Filet of beef with Cabernet sauce, garlic and rosemary roasted lamb, and aged Gouda or white cheddar with walnut toasts would nicely complement this Cabernet Sauvignon.
This wine was sourced from Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in three exceptional sites in the heart of Napa Valley. These vineyards are located in the Rutherford American Viticultural Area (AVA)—Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III on the eastern side and our estate vineyards on the west—where the valley’s sun exposure, climate and soils are particularly well suited to Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2008 growing season presented its fair share of challenges for California’s winemakers, yet this Cabernet Sauvignon proves that Napa Valley was blessed—once again—with many truly remarkable wines. Although spring frosts reduced yields, we were rewarded with rich, muscular Cabernet Sauvignon graced by deep, dark color and highly nuanced aromas and flavors. We harvested these perfectly balanced grapes as each reserve-quality vineyard section ripened, from early through late October.
After hand harvesting the fruit and then hand sorting it twice at the winery, we gently destemmed the grapes to retain at least 60 percent whole berries. Three days of cold soaking before fermentation gently extracted the opulent color and flavors from the skins. Two to three weeks of skin contact developed varietal expression and was followed by fermentation, pressing and then in-barrel malolactic fermentation to round the acidity. Aging in a high percentage of new oak barrels married the velvety Cabernet Sauvignon flavors with warm oak tones.