Introducing the 2017 Rassi, the inaugural release of our Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Named after the Rassi vineyard located on the eastern slope of Sonoma Valley just at the base of the Mayacamas Mountain range. The Leonardini family purchased the Rassi vineyard in 2012, adding it to the portfolio of great vineyards they already own. e vineyard is predominantly a gravelly sandy loam site, offering excellent free-draining soils that are prefect for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. Whitehall Lane and the Leonardinis are known for making elegant, sophisticated Cabernets. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our Rassi vineyard in the Sonoma Valley, while the Merlot comes from our Estate vineyard in Rutherford.
Upon hand harvesting in the early morning hours, our grapes 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 with a select yeast, the grape must (juice, skins, and seeds) fermented at 82?F, which allowed for a hot extraction on the skins. For fermentation cap management, the juice was pumped over the skins two times per day, wetting the cap evenly for a nice healthy fermentation. After fermentation and pressing, the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were aged in 35% new French and American oak for 20 months before bottling. The final blend is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
This beautifully blended 2017 Rassi Cabernet Sauvignon is exquisitely balanced with excellent fruit concentration. On the nose, this wine offers ripe blackberries, cr?me de cassis, black cherry cola, black pepper, pencil shavings, and toasted chestnuts. The palate offers plush but delicate tannins, fresh blueberries, and sweet black plums, baked berry tart, toasted bread, and has a touch of walnuts that linger on the finish. is offering is enjoyable today but will also evolve with cellar aging through 2028.