The 2011 vintage was the second in a pair of late ripening vintages for the Alexander Valley, and one in which experience and attentive farming played an even more important role than usual. Winter and spring were wet and cool, with such conditions persisting through the bloom period, leading to lower than normal yields. These conditions persisted through the summer, pushing already delayed phenological markers later into the season. Our vineyard team used precision farming to determine the precise techniques necessary to maximize quality in each vineyard block. These included crop removal, deficit irrigation and lateral removal in order to increase light exposure and airflow. September offered a variation from the mild summer with a brief heatwave from the 6th - 7th and a sustained one from the 18th - 23rd. The application of berry sensory techniques in addition to traditional analyses positioned our team to take advantage of this window and we began harvest on September 26th. Precipitation in early October created a pause in the harvest period and we completed harvest on October 27th, approximately 2-3 weeks later than a typical vintage. Our innovative work in the vineyard resulted in a rewarding vintage; one in which a long maturation period and cooler growing conditions led to bright and vibrant flavors.
Our 2011 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. It was blended in early 2012 and aged for 24 months in 40% new and 60% once-used American oak barrels. Early blending assures a balanced core and allows the components to achieve a seamless harmony during barrel aging. After bottling in the spring of 2014, the wine was aged an additional 18 months in bottle before being released in August of 2015.
Our 2008 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has been included in Wine & Spirits Magazine's “Year's Best Cabernet Sauvignon” article! Joshua Greene of Wine & Spirits Magazine says:
“Like a savory claret pumped up on performance-enhancing California climate, this is nuanced and relatively austere for all its bold, plumy fruit. The supple richness of tannins lends it textural finesse, the quality of Silver Oak that may be most responsible for its legend. The alcohol is finely integrated so as to be imperceptible. Still youthfully floral, this will age with grace.”