ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• COMPOSITION: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
• AGING: 20 months in French & American oak barrels
• pH: 3.81
• TA: 6.0 g/L
• ALCOHOL: 13.8%
• PRODUCTION: 505 cases


Vintage

The growing season for our 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon was 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

The 2010 vintage delivered just over 17 tons of petite and intensely colored clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon berries. The grapes were gently crushed and transferred to two of our open top fermenters. Our first tank was given 24 hour maceration at 50o F prior to yeast inoculation to encourage extraction of water soluble pigments and flavors. For our second tank we heated the must to 95o F, an optimal temperature to activate the grape’s natural enzymes encouraging extraction of the grapes tannins. Each tank was inoculated with different yeast, to take advantage of each tank’s pre-fermentation maceration technique. During fermentation we used our full arsenal of cap management techniques: pump over, drain and return, punch down. Each technique has its advantages and by combining all three we are able to maximize our extraction of tannins and color. The wine was then pressed off and allowed to settle in tank for 24 hours prior to racking and transferring the wine to barrels for malo-lactic fermentation and subsequent aging. For the blending of the final cuvee prior to bottling, each set of barrels was tasted blind to evaluate the effect of oak on the finished wine. From this evaluation the final barrels were selected and blended together along with small amounts of clone 8 Cabernet from one of our oldest vineyard blocks. The addition of Cabernet from one of our heritage blocks gives the wine extra layers of depth and complexity. The wine was aged an additional 5 months prior to bottling on August 8th, 2012.


Winemaker Comments

Intensely colored, this seductive Cabernet lures you in with aromas of juicy red fruits dipped in chocolate mixed with hints sandalwood and cedar. Bright acidity carries through to lush flavors of cherries jubilee and subtle exotic spice. A long lingering finish invites another sip of this intriguing Cabernet.