2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

I sure wish we had more of this one! The Napa Cabernet vineyards had very low yields this year due to cold damage and heavy shatter, but the resulting small crop delivered incredibly concentrated flavors and fantastic ripeness. After the heat during bloom in May, the growing season was generally mild. The heat returned in August and early September and pushed the ripeness up in a hurry; but thankfully cooler weather followed, which allowed us to pick each field at optimal maturity and provided a nice even pace for harvest.

vintage weather

Beginning with this vintage, we began to modify our winemaking philosophy by selectively picking smaller sections of the vineyards at a time to ensure more optimal and uniform ripeness of the grapes going into tanks. The smaller vineyard yields this harvest were a blessing because we were never crunched for space in the winery, which allowed us the freedom to pick many smaller lots over the course of the harvest. In addition to this philosophical shift, we also made a few changes to our fermentation practices that have resulted in better extraction, color stability, and oak integration. The results are in your glass.

tasting notes

The deep garnet color of this wine hints at the big extraction and dark flavors to follow. Very rich aromas of pipe tobacco, chocolate and caramel beautifully complement the black currant and ripe black cherry fruit. The palate opens soft but builds big and fast, showing a great acid backbone, moderate weight tannins, and a mouthfeel that is full but not heavy or overwhelming. Rich, ripe, sweet black cherry dominates the fruit and is nicely complemented with plum and red berry high tones. Barrel spice is prominent on the finish.

Release Price $49.00
Harvest Date September 5 to October 13
Blend 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc
Barrel Aging 14 months, French and Eastern European, 23% New
Bottling Date April 2010
Release Date Summer 2011
Cases Produced 9,200
Alcohol 14.2%