92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, and 1% Merlot from estate-owned vineyards in Rutherford (30%), South Napa (22%), the St. Helena home ranch (17%) and Stags Leap District (Barboza Vineyard, 17% and Las Rocas Vineyard, 14%).
Grapes were harvested Sept. 29 – Nov. 1 at an average 25.0º Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks for 14- 21 days (with additional vatting time of 1 to 2 weeks) and aged 24 months in 100% new 60-gallon French oak barrels from coopers Taransaud, Dargaud, Jaegle, Nadalie, Demptos and Vicard. The wine was bottled in February 2008.
The initial blend assembled in April of ’06 was quite reticent. Not until early ‘07 did the wine “blossom” in barrel showing amazing depth, texture and vibrant fruit qualities. Deeply colored, concentrated and layered, with floral, anise, black cherry and graphite aromas, this wine is classically structured with excellent acidity, well-balanced tannins and a mouth-staining, persistent finish.
The beginning of 2005 was wet; between January and the end of June there was an accumulation of approximately 25 inches of rain, which helped sustain the larger than normal crop load. It is interesting to note that the significant bud fruitfulness and larger than normal cluster size in 2005 was due to perfect weather conditions in June/July of 2004 when the buds were forming. In 2005, what turned into optimum weather conditions during bud break, bloom and set just solidified the crop size. Shoots had three clusters instead of the normal two, and thinning passes were conducted during the unusually temperate summer to balance the vine, improve air and light distribution within the vine canopy and ensure optimal quality. The extended hang time in 2005 also allowed for the development of balanced sugar and acidity in the cluster.