The Three Palms Vineyard site was the summer home of spunky Lillie Hitchcock Coit in the 1800s. While Lillie is memorialized by San Francisco’s most famous landmark, Coit Tower, the Three Palms Vineyard is equally legendary in Napa Valley. This stony vineyard yields intense, extroverted wines with deep fruit character, distinctive minerality and muscular tannin, making them very similar to those made from mountain-grown fruit. Match this robust wine with bold foods, such as grilled rib-eye steak, savory lamb stew or short ribs.
Barrel Aging: 21 Months, 100% French Oak (75% New)
Varietal Composition: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot
Production: 389 cases
"A beautiful Cabernet from this old vineyard, famous in the 1980s for Merlot, which comprises a small amount of the blend. The wine shows the brisk tannins Three Palms is known for, but they're finely-grained, making the wine drinkable now. The flavors are ripe, ranging from blackberry jam and cherry pie to mocha. Drink now–2017." - Josh Greene, December 2013
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.
Heralded as a near-flawless vintage in Napa Valley, 2010 had the latest onset to harvest in several decades. We crushed the first grapes after Labor Day, about two weeks later than average. The late onset resulted from above-average rainfall and cool temperatures that persisted into May, followed by a mostly cool, foggy summer that slowed fruit maturity. But, just as we started worrying that the grapes would never ripen, Mother Nature surprised us with heat spells to boost their flavors and sugar levels. The long hangtime and full ripeness yielded exceptionally rich wines with exquisite balance.
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.