The 2011 vintage was cooler and the fruit ripened substantially later than in past vintages, yet by waiting patiently we achieved beautiful physiological maturity. Rigorous cultural practices such as leaf stripping, shoot thinning and green harvesting are the standard, but in 2011 were critical. Several blocks were thinned to one cluster per shoot to insure even ripening; the average yield was around two tons per acre. Our efforts toward sustainable wine growing since 2006 are clearly beginning to pay off.
All grapes were harvested by hand and sorted prior to crushing. This cabernet was fermented in very small 2000 liter stainless steel tanks and was punched down two times per day. After pressing and settling, this red wine went directly to French chateau barrels for additional aging and maturation.
This wine has tight but enticingly high toned aromas of tobacco, black olive and sweet oak notes that integrate beautifully with restrained tart black cherry fruit. In the mouth, flavors begin with crisp black fruits leading towards a dark cocoa/mocha finish that is exotic and intriguing. The wine shows great proportion and structure, and while certainly leaner than the last several vintages, is still beautifully integrated and seamless. This wine will benefit greatly from additional cellaring and should continue to develop for ten years or more with proper storage.