ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• COMPOSITION: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Syrah
• pH: 3.92

• TA: 5.1g/L

• ALCOHOL: 13.8%

• AGING: 25 months in French & American oak barrels
• PRODUCTION: 3,000 cases


Vintage

We cultivated our 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon during one of the coldest years in memory. Toward the end of August, later than we had ever seen, our grapes were just beginning to go through veraison, the change from hard green berries to soft plump fruit. With still no warm weather in sight we made the difficult decision to go through the vineyard and thin the crop. Wherever clusters were sitting on top of one another or the fruit load looked too heavy for the vine, we removed whole clusters of fruit. With less fruit to ripen the vines gradually picked up the pace, but with the fall harvest looming we were still not sure the crop would ripen in time. Our prayers were finally answered when a beautiful Indian summer came upon us in September, when we had a week of +80oF weather and a week of +70oF, and the grapes finished their ripening nicely. The result was fruit of exceptional character with an excellent balance of acidity and ripeness.


Winemaking

Our goal in crafting the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is to preserve and enhance the character of our delicious fruit. Harvested in ½ ton picking bins, we brought the fruit directly from the field to the winery. To extract color and flavor prior to the onset of fermentation, the grapes were de-stemmed, crushed and pumped into our open top fermenters where we macerated the fruit for 24 hours prior to yeast addition. After the initiation of fermentation, cap management began in earnest with drain-and-returns performed on all tanks twice a day–the wine is drained from the tank through the racking valve on the tank and splashed through a stainless steel screen and into a sump until the flow of wine stops. The wine is then pumped back over the top of the must, flooding the cap with wine. In this fashion we guarantee that we are working with the entire volume of the tank, increasing extraction of the tannins from the grapes. By splashing the wine we infuse the must with oxygen which helps soften the tannins and improve mouth feel. Once the sugar was consumed by the yeast, we pressed off the wine and placed it into a mixture of French and American Oak barrels for 25 months. This aging mellows the wines and develops additional complexity. After aging, the wines were blended together in tank along with a 3% addition of Syrah in preparation for bottling, bringing extra depth to an already profound Cabernet Sauvignon.


Winemaker Comments

Black cherry and cranberry, vanilla roasting on an open fire, plum and other exotic aromas all hint at a deep and complex wine. The wine’s entry is bright and deceptively soft, hiding the underlying structure of firm fine-grain tannins. Layers of fruit with pleasing notes of toast and chocolate envelop the palate. The finish is lingering and savory, inviting another sip of our 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy!