2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot from 100% estate-grown Napa Valley vineyards: 37% Spring Valley Ranch in St. Helena, 25% Yountville in Oak Knoll District, 13% Suscol in South Napa, 12% Banca Dorada in Rutherford, 7% Stags Leap District and 6% Backus Vineyard in Oakville.
Grapes were hand-picked at an average of 24.6º Brix and hand-sorted before a cold soak and stainless steel fermentation. The wine was aged for eighteen months in 52% new oak barrels (58% French, 42% American) and 48% one- to two-year-old French and American oak barrels before bottling in July, 2013. The barrel coopers used included Ermitage, François Frères, Taransaud, Demptos (French and American), Nadalié (French and American), Canton (American) and Barrel Associates (American).
The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon has beautiful aromatics of plum, cherry, currants, coffee, cocoa and hints of allspice, fresh thyme, tobacco and forest floor. The body is laced with integrated tannins, great freshness and red fruit characteristics.
The 2011 growing season began normally with bud break occurring at the end of March. However, due to cool weather, bloom completed two to three weeks later than normal. By mid-June, preparations were underway for the unusually cool growing season. Vines were forced into competition for water by leaving cover crop untilled, delayed irrigation and cluster thinning. An eleven-day warming trend in mid-September helped push grape maturation. Despite mid-season rain and cool weather in 2011, blends were carefully selected and the wines are fresh, will be long lived, and no doubt continue to evolve and develop.