2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
The Bear Flag Vineyard, located in Calistoga, sits at the base of the Mayacamas mountains. The full sun in the morning and shade in the late afternoon favors a longer growing season. And with limited sun exposure, this 30-year-old vineyard struggles to bear 2 tons per acre on a normal year and at the same time produces grapes that mature uniformly with lower sugar levels compared to most Cabernet vineyards.
We harvested the grapes on a cool foggy morning in mid-September; the fruit was so perfect there was little need for sorting. All the grapes were destemmed and slightly crushed for better extraction. We then chilled the juice and grapes for five days before fermentation. We kept to our cabernet protocol of two pump overs per day until the wine was fully fermented. We performed rack-and-returns for a couple more days, then drained and pressed the tank. We allowed the wine to settle out the less desirable heavy solids and transferred the remainder to the barrel a few days later. 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 this wine off the sediment two times and after twenty-two months in the barrel it was gently bottled.
Compared to our other cabernets, Candor is more of a classic style; the fruit is not at the forefront, but rather in check with the ample spice and tannins. We call this wine Candor for its beautiful transparency of the site it comes from and the minimalist winemaking approach.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes
An alluring nose of fresh, yet ripe black fruits are brilliantly accompanied by forward herbs of rosemary, thyme, sage, and anise. Very well-integrated, these aromas lend themselves to a minerality on the palate where rich flavors of vanilla and cacao complement. The rich midpalate gives way to a finish of classy oak-laden vanilla and mocha balanced by abundant firm tannins.
Enjoy this wine between now and 2035.
Elevation: 450 feet above sea level
Soil: Alluvial Mayacamas loam
Slope and Aspect: Valley floor, 2% slope, North-east facing
Farming: Sustainable, organic practices, managed by the winemaker
Fermentation: 100% destemmed, 5-day cold soak, 7-day fermentation, 2-day post-fermentation maceration
Aging: 100% new French oak barrels, racked two times
Production: 50 cases bottled July 26th, 2017, neither fined nor filtered