The backbone of this Cabernet Sauvignon blend comes from a vineyard farmed by Round Pond in the center of the Rutherford sub-appellation, entirely planted to Clone 337, a premier high quality clone planted in the post-phylloxera era. The vineyard has well-drained alluvial gravel under shallow clay topsoil from the Napa River floodplain. The yield was only 2.9 tons per acre, allowing the maturation of very ripe and complex grapes even in a cooler vintage.
The 2010 growing season was generally a cooler one, with temperatures barely breaking 80F on most summer days—with the exception of one burst of intense heat over three days in late August, when temperatures were well over 100F! While many vineyards were adversely affected by sunburn, this Cabernet vineyard was completely protected by its old style California trellis and canopy. Sometimes NOT having cutting edge technology on your side is a major advantage. With its lighter crop load, the fruit ripened fully, and we harvested it before late October rains could cause any problems.
Our 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon was hand harvested on October 25th, 2010. After an early morning pick, the grapes were cold soaked for three days to enhance extraction of color and tannins. The grape must was then warmed to encourage fermentation with native yeasts, and later a small inoculation of cultured yeast strain D254 ensured completion of fermentation. Maceration was extended two weeks past dryness to maximize tannin resolution. After aging for 22 months in 60% new French oak barrels with quarterly rackings, the wine was bottled without fining in late August of 2012.