2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
96 Points Robert Parker
On July 14, 2017, after two entire days of master blending, vintner Ralph was quoted as saying: "This 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is as if Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Chateau Montrose had a baby, but with the opulence of Napa Valley style!" This Cabernet Sauvignon has a wonderfully playful symbiotic relationship between Mayacama valley floor character and Vaca mountainous structure, culminating in more complex character and refined elegance than the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. Some notable aromas on the bouquet include fresh roasted coffee, blackcurrant, crème de cassis, luxardo cherries, perfume, fresh violet petals, dark cherry liqueur, and hints of forest floor, sage, freshly cut cedar chips, with an intriguing musky nuance. Upon entering the palate, oodles of dark fruit, blackcurrant, cassis, fresh rose petals, water chestnuts, and subtle hints of licorice expand into a luscious, long-lasting espresso crème brûlée finish. The mesmerizing complexities between the balanced, full-body character interlaced with the structured yet velvety tannins may cause frisson with certain individuals. Proceed with delight!
Mother Nature in 2015 was not very nice to us, but evidently, this was a blessing in disguise. We experienced another drought year, shatter in the spring, and a heat wave with temperatures over 100° late in the season. Even with the atypical growing period, 2015 was yet another epic Napa Valley vintage where the stars aligned for us. Although we lost approximately 35% of our total yield due to shatter, the final fruit quality was SUPERB - and has created the best wine we have ever made! After waiting three years on a wait list, in 2015 we were also very fortunate to obtain First Growth fruit out of Oakville (adjacent to a very famous, iconic Napa Valley winery who charges $1000+ per bottle) to blend together with our ultra premium Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak, Pritchard Hill, and Silverado Bench fruit. We barrel-aged all five Bordeaux varietals in 90% new French and Hungarian oak for 23-months, adding elegant, balanced structure without overpowering the essence of the unique terroir. Furthermore, in 2015, we hired Andrew Opatz as our vineyard manager for our Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard on Howell Mountain and he immediately got to work improving the vineyard.
Varietal Composition: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc & 3% Merlot
706 Cases Produced