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: 22 Months, 100% New French Oak
Varietal Composition: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
Production: 357 cases
Our 2011 Three Palms Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a stony vineyard that yields intense, extroverted wines with deep fruit character and muscular tannins, making them very similar to those made from mountain-grown fruit. Napa Valley’s unusually cool 2011 vintage slowly ripened the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and intensified the Three Palms Vineyard’s expression of minerality, while providing a firm tannin and acid structure. The wine exudes brambly blackberry, wild plum and Bing cherry character, with complex nuances of tobacco leaf and forest loam. Hints of almond and baking spices from 100 percent new French barrels add warm tones to the expansive aromas and dense, textured flavors.
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. 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. Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, also grown on this site, gave us the opportunity to blend other varietals for complexity while retaining a single-vineyard designation.
The persistently cool 2011 vintage decreased yields in Napa Valley, but the remaining grapes ripened slowly, achieving bright, elegant flavors. For the second consecutive year, Napa Valley’s harvest was one of the latest on record. A wet winter and spring continued into mid-June, causing shatter during bloom and reducing the crop. While the steadily cool temperatures made us anxious and gave us gray hair, this wine—with its depth of flavor and ripe, muscular tannins—that this temperamental vintage produced many exceptional wines.
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.