Our Vine Hill Cabernet has a dark, intricate nose of blackberry, boysenberry, and dark chocolate with hints of gravel. On the palate expressions of fresh blackberry are layered with boysenberry and black cherry. Opulent and structured tannins fill the palate with a dense, powerful black fruit finish. This wine will continue to age gracefully in the bottle for another decade.
Grapes for this complex, robust wine come from three special blocks of vines grown in the renowned Vine Hill Ranch in Napa Valley’s western benchlands near Oakville. Oakville’s mornings are cool and foggy, but as the sun rises, the fog burns off resulting in warm, dry afternoons. The benchlands offer deep loamy soils and shade from the mountains to protect grapes from extreme heat and sun. These mature vines produce powerful, intense wines in these perfect conditions, with beautiful varietal expression, and a well balanced structure of acidity and tannin.
The 2018 growing season kicked off with plentiful winter rainfall to replenish the soils. Steady vine growth and berry development progressed evenly through the summer months. The vintage was cooler than usual; grapes reached peak maturity with balanced fruit flavors and firm tannins.
We harvested grapes during the cool night hours to ensure the fruit retained freshness, purity, and natural acidity. Clusters were hand-sorted and gently destemmed, then whole berries were hand-sorted. Prior to fermentation, grapes underwent a “cold soak,” which softens the grape skins and further helps extract color, aromas, flavors and tannin. Following fermentation, the wine was transferred to French oak barrels (62% new) for 22 months before bottling in July of 2020.