This was our first bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon from the renowned Three Palms Vineyard. It has aged gracefully, still displaying concentrated blueberry jam and ripe blackberry character. Layers of sweet dark chocolate, forest loam and mineral from the terroir—along with toffee, cinnamon and clove from new oak barrels—add complexity to the expansive aromas and dense, textured flavors.
Barrel Aging: 21 Months, 100% French Oak (75% New)
Varietal Composition: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec
Production: 682 cases
The stony Three Palms Vineyard yields intense wines with deep fruit character, distinctive minerality and muscular tannins, making them very similar to those made from mountain-grown fruit. Our robust 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon exudes concentrated blueberry jam and ripe blackberry character. Layers of sweet dark chocolate, forest loam and mineral from the terroir—along with toffee, cinnamon and clove from new oak barrels—add complexity to the expansive aromas and dense, textured flavors.
We harvested the grapes from a 1.82-acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon in Three Palms Vineyard. The soil of this valley-floor vineyard is full of volcanic cobblestones that have been washed down from Dutch Henry Canyon in northern Napa Valley. The stones radiate heat and also force the vines to struggle for water and nutrients, resulting in small-berried Cabernet Sauvignon clusters with exceptional color and flavor concentration. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec are also grown on this site, giving us the opportunity to blend other varietals for complexity while retaining a single-vineyard designation.
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 and the temperatures during the growing season vacillated between hot and cold, there were enough ideal days to develop grapes with amazing aromas and flavors and ripe tannins. We hand harvested the small, intensely flavored clusters from early to late September as each varietal ripened.
We hand-harvested the Cabernet Sauvignon at dawn and then hand-sorted the fruit twice at the winery. After we destemmed the clusters, maintaining 60 percent whole berries to maximize fruitiness, we cold-soaked the must to gently extract flavors and color. Following fermentation and extended maceration, we aged the wine in a high percentage of new French oak barrels (medium to medium-plus toast) to balance this richly flavored Cabernet Sauvignon.