2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
High on the mountain, the vines struggle for sunlight, water, and nutrients to produce extraordinary grapes. The “Spring Theory” is that the resulting wine will present with a more intense character and taste that will also stand up to the test of time.
The epitome of mountain Cabernet, our Spring Mountain vineyard struggles. The berries and yield are half of what they are one thousand feet below on the valley floor, yielding a wine of immense concentration, yet fresh and vibrant. We picked the grapes at the optimal tannin ripeness when the fruit flavors were between red and black. They were delivered to the winery during the cool early morning hours. 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 halfway through to finish 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
This wine is just starting to hint at what it will be in five to ten years. Layers of kirsch, lavender and elegant violet evolve into rustic anise and fresh cracked pepper. The telltale flavor of red and black currant are accompanied by crushed blueberries. There are high-toned aromas and flavors of thyme, briar chaparral, fresh earth and fresh cracked graphite. The deft use of oak elevated the wine and delicately wrapped it in a fine blanket of cacao and vanillin. The tannins are quite ample at this point in its life and will age gracefully for half a lifetime.
Enjoy this wine between now and 2050.
Elevation: 750-1300 feet above sea level
Soil: Silt loam from decomposed volcanic with sedimentary layers
Slope and Aspect: North-west facing, slope 10-20%
Fermentation: 100% destemmed, 5-day cold soak, 16-day fermentation, 5-day post fermentation maceration
Aging: 100% new French oak for 20 months, racked twice
Production: 75 cases bottled June 10th, 2016, neither fined nor filtered