2016 Cabernet Sauvignon

The Vineyard at Pelkan Ranch

Knights Valley of Sonoma County

The Paint of Moonlight

At Pelkan Ranch, the vineyards blanket the crest of an ancient volcano. Here, the vines struggle in the unwelcomning soil and the unwavering sun. By embracing the night’s cool breeze and basking in the gentle kiss of moonlight, they endure.


Winegrowing Approach

Pelkan Ranch is located on the summit of the Mayacamas mountains that line the western edge of Knights Valley in Sonoma County, just northwest of Calistoga.  The 2016 growing season followed consecutive years of drought. Following a wet winter and a warm spring, the coming summer was optimal for ripening, and we cruised into harvest with no periods of intense heat. This ideal vintage brought wines of wonderful depth, richness and smooth tannins.

Once at the winery, we diligently sorted the individual grapes, then, destemmed and gently crushed the grapes prior to entry into French oak barrels where fermentation began with native yeast. We added commercial yeast to add strength to the fermentation. We performed either punch downs, pump-overs or rack-and-returns, and after fermentation was completed we allowed the maceration to continue until we achieved the right balance in structure. After which, we gently pressed the wine to tank and allowed the heavy solids to settle before transferring the wine to new oak barrels to age for 20 months. The oak staves used to make our cabernet barrels are from the best forests in France and aged extra-long so that they are not too aggressive on the wine. We racked the wine off its sediment only once before it was bottled.

Winemaker’s Tasting Notes

Rich yet plush, “The Paint of Moonlight” exhibits fresh blueberries intertwined with other aromas of blackberries, red currant and sweet tobacco. Layers of spices mingle with the opulent fruit with hints of subtle oak.

Truly youthful, the palate is dense while remaining fresh with fairly tight, but fine tannins. The finish lingers with red fruits and wisps of graphite.

Made in a more approachable style, this wine is rich in color, texture and flavor. The oak elevated and fosterd the wine towards an elegance rarely seen with 100% new French oak.

Enjoy this wine between now and 2035.

Technical Information

Elevation: 1100 feet above sea level

Soil: Volcanic, very iron-rich soils with ferric sedimentary rocks, basalt, andesite

Slope and Aspect: North-east facing, slope 20%

Farming: Sustainable, custom farming to winemaker’s specifications to ensure highest quality and uniformity

Fermentation: 100% destemmed, 7-day cold soak, 14-day fermentation, 10-day post fermentation maceration

Aging: 100% new French oak for 20 months, racked twice

Production: 62 cases bottled June 10th, 2016, neither fined nor filtered

Alcohol: 14.6%