This 2016 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is ruby in color with a magenta rim. It has an enticing nose of cassis, blackberry, vanilla, sage and spearmint. Upon entry, this wine builds from potpourri and bramble to a bright pop of raspberry on the mid-palate. A juicy finish with chewy tannins and a medium length, it will provide drinking pleasure through 2042 with proper cellaring.
This wine is comprised of 94.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.0% Merlot, 0.5% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc and 0.4% Malbec. In early 2017, the final blend was transferred to American oak barrels from our cooperage, The Oak, where it aged for 24 months. Half the barrels for our 2016 Alexander Valley vintage were new, providing a subtle, layered expression of bay leaf, coconut and vanilla to our wines. Blending before barrel aging-a signature of our winemaking style-allows blends to be based on the inherent qualities of their vineyard components before oak influence. Vintage to vintage, the resulting Cabernets emerge integrated and ready to drink upon release.
The 2016 vintage was the beginning of the end of the enduring drought. Ample rainfall in the winter months filled reservoirs and soil profiles and allowed a strong start into the growing season. Warm weather in mid-February led to early budbreak, but we were fortunate not to see any frost damage to the vulnerable shoots in spring. The post-bloom period was consistently warm and steady throughout, and there were only two smaller heat events. A few cool weeks in August followed and brought plenty of coastal fog to protect the developing fruit. We saw steady fruit ripening with aromatic and phenolic development in sync with sugar accumulation. The result was healthy fruit with high flavor and aromatic concentration plus good acidity-the perfect combination for a one-of-a-kind wine.