2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot from 100% estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards: 44% Spring Valley Ranch in St. Helena, 28% Suscol in South Napa, 16% Yountville in Oak Knoll District and 12% Banca Dorada in Rutherford.
Grapes were picked during the cool morning hours at an average of 24.6˚ Brix and hand-sorted before a cold soak of five days and stainless steel fermentation. The wine was aged for eighteen months in 45% new oak (57% French, 43% American) and 55% one- to two-year-old French oak before bottling in July, 2012. The barrel coopers used included Ermitage, François Frères, Taransaud, Demptos (French and American), Canton (American) and Barrel Associates (American).
The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is ultra-concentrated both in the nose and on the palate with aromas of blueberry, dark plum and Black Mission fig followed by cardamom, nutmeg, graphite, tobacco and vanilla bean. The sweet tannins are intertwined with flavors of anise, caramel cream, spicy black pepper and crushed blackberries, contributing to the long, lush finish.
The 2010 growing season experienced earlier bud break than 2009, but flowering and veraison occurred up to two weeks later. A prolonged frost season lasted until the end of May followed by mild early summer temperatures. Veraison was 50% complete by mid-August and two heat spikes, the first in late August and the second at the end of September, helped to propel ripening. Temperatures in September and October were consistently on the warm side until rain in the third week of October.