2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

Aromas of cassis, graphite and earth. Flavors of dark cherries, vanilla bean and spice. Full bodied with polished tannins, a complex palate and broad mouthfeel. Already quite approachable but has the acidity and tannins to age very nicely. Will benefit from decanting for the first 3-4 years.

The Vineyard

Rafael Vineyard - Oak Knoll District Soils: Hillside property with gravelly, sandy loam Clone: 7 Rootstock: 110R

Rafael Vineyard is a sloping hillside property in Oak Knoll. Being in the southern part of the valley, the temperatures are moderated by the weather patterns coming off San Pablo Bay. These cooling breezes and morning fogs help the grapes retain assertive acids that warmer growing spots can’t match. The vines at Rafael are planted in porous sands and gravel, which forces the roots to work deep into the ground in search of water. This natural devigoration helps produce smaller berries with balanced concentrations of tannins and acidity. "The challenging 2010 California wine grape harvest is in and owners and winemakers are relieved and enthusiastic about the quality. A wet spring followed by a late start and long, cool growing season ending with a heat spike allowed grapes to reach maturity, with several regions reporting slightly lower sugars, higher acids and deep colors and flavors. The season was a balancing act with some winegrowers trimming fruit or pulling leaves to assure full fruit maturity. Regions reported lower to normal yields. The good news is that what was brought in displays remarkable quality throughout the state with several vintners predicting a more restrained, elegant style of wine." – The Wine Institute

By the Numbers

Aging: 24 months in new and used French oak barrels
Blend: 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot (Tourmaline Vineyard) & 2% Merlot (Tourmaline Vineyard)
pH: 3.83
TA: 6.2 g/L
Alc: 14.8%

Harvested: 10/29/11
Brix @ Harvest: 25.2°
Fermentation Details: 4 day cold soak, 14 day primary fermentation, 10 day extended maceration, ML in barrels

2011 Harvest

The 2011 California wine grape harvest was lighter and later than normal with flavors developing at lower sugar levels, giving winemakers the opportunity to make flavorful, elegant wines. A wet winter and spring delayed bloom and hindered fruit set, resulting in shatter in some regions, which decreased the overall crop load. A generally cool summer prolonged the growing season and harvest started very late in most areas. Early autumn rains prompted growers and wineries to pick many varieties at lower Brix.   – The Wine Institute