The 2016 vintage began with a mild winter and not much rain, leading to an early bud break and an early start of our growing season. Spring weather was cool and summer was warm, allowing the fruit to mature at a steady pace. By September and October, the grapes were harvested at optimal ripeness. e Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot in this wine were harvested from our Oak Glen, Leonardini, Millennium MM, and Fawn Park Estate vineyards.
Upon hand harvesting in the early morning hours, our Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot were carefully destemmed and sent to tank for a whole-berry fermentation. e grapes were cold-soaked in tank at 45?F for 4-7 days, allowing for increased color, aroma, and flavor extraction. After inoculation, the grape must (juice, skins, and seeds) fermented at 82?F, which allowed for a hot extraction on the skins. For fermentation cap management, we pumped juice over the skins two times per day, wetting the cap evenly for a nice healthy fermentation. After fermentation and pressing, the wine was sent to 65% new French oak, 35% neutral French oak barrels, aging for 26 months. The final blend for the Leonardini Estate is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
This 2016 Leonardini Estate wine is a quintessential Cabernet Sauvignon. It begins on the nose with rich, dark black fruits, blueberries, blackberry bon bons, cassis, fragrant violets, tobacco leaf, and baking spices. Its balance and mid-palate are most notable, providing long, plush tannins alongside its dense fruit character. On the palate, it delivers baked berry crisp, black and red fruits, toasted walnuts, brioche, pencil shavings, and cedar on the finish. the beautiful underlying tannin structure, complexity, and ample fruit will evolve over time and age gracefully for 15-20 years.