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.
We’ve selected this wine, offered exclusively at the winery, from our favorite barrels of Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. Fine Rutherford Dust tannins and vibrant acidity provide structure and carry the flavors through a long finish. Filet of beef with Cabernet sauce; lamb roasted with garlic and rosemary; and aged 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.
Although winter and spring rainfall during the 2009 growing season was only about two-thirds of normal, the timing of the rains was excellent for the vines. Our Merlot vines completed budbreak in late March and developed through a frost-free spring. Ideal conditions prevailed during bloom and berry set in May. Moderate temperatures during summer and early fall produced excellent fruit quality by allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and fully, while maintaining acidity. A fabulous vintage!
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.