The 2009 vintage started out with a very mild spring which continued into summer. Periodic heat spikes throughout the summer gently pushed the grapes to ripeness while not being so hot as to create undue stress or sunburn. The pace of harvest was very relaxed, lasting over eight weeks from the start of white varieties to the last Cabernet berry. Late rains caused many growers to pick early, but following the timeless of Douglas Addams, “Don’t Panic!”, we let the remaining, loose clustered and tough skinned Cabernet Sauvignon hang through the rain, only to gain an even more intense color and flavor.
To help round out the Cabernet Sauvignon, we continued our traditional extended barrel aging program; not to give the wine more oak or vanilla characters, but to give the wine more time in the micro-aerative environment of the barrel to enhance tannin polymerization. For our efforts, we have been rewarded with a rich, full-bodied Cabernet, deep in color. The nose of the wine is lively with essences of dark berries, plum, dark chocolate, and toasty oak. The sweet, supple entry crescendos into a deeply intense middle; followed by a pleasant, velvety, lingering finish.
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Varietal Percentage: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot.
Age of vines and soil type: 19-27 year old vines planted in deep volcanic soils.
Date picked: 9/28/09 -- 10/27/09.
Harvest Sugar: 26.1 degrees Brix.
Fermentation time/Temperature Range: 12 days, 67-92 F.
Fermentation container/maceration: Open fermentation in small containers, punched down twice a day.
Length/type of aging: 33 months in 60 gal Oak barrels: 45% new French, 55% 2-3 year old French. Bottled: May 2012. Approximate lifespan under proper cellar conditions: 20+ years. Number of cases produced: 2096 cases. Release Date: March 2012. Winemaker: Andrew T. Schweiger.