93 Points | North Coast Wine Competition | April 2021
This complex and lustrous Cabernet Sauvignon opens with an herbaceous nose before evolving into an earthy combination of plum, black olive and dried bay leaf. The warm, west-facing vineyards of the Moon Mountain District build big charismatic accents of hibiscus and cherry cordial upon the rich, structured mid-palate. The provincial qualities of the fruit benefit from its bold acidity and silky tannins. A great wine for aging or enjoying young.
2018 provided an ideal climate allowing time for the grapes to ripen to their optimum flavor structure. The year presented a fairly mild growing season with few heat spikes, inspiring winemakers to push harvest back a few weeks. This longer time on the vine was great for grapes and the mild temperatures kept the fruit from over-ripening. More than an inch of rain fell in early October in many locations, but there was little impact on the quality of the fruit. 2018 could be remembered as one of the longest and most desirable seasons in years, producing exceptional quality grapes throughout Sonoma County.
The fruit for this robust Cabernet Sauvignon comes from one of Sonoma’s newest AVAs – the Moon Mountain District Sonoma County, a region striking for its high elevation vineyards and rugged, volcanic soil. Rising from 400 to 2200 feet on the western side of the Mayacamas, the Moon Mountain District has thin, fast-draining soil and hot, dry summer days, ideal conditions to grow deeply colored grapes with intense, concentrated flavors. Two vineyards in this distinctive region are sourced for this wine, with 76% of the fruit coming from the Caton vineyard and 24% from the Montecillo vineyard.
The grapes underwent a two-day cold soak to extract optimal color and flavor and each individual component was fermented separately to optimize structure and tannin integration. Secondary malolactic fermentation occurred in French oak barrels, 50% new, followed by 17 months of aging before final blending and bottling.
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