2018 Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Gold, 93pts. Sunset International Wine Competition
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 2% PV, 2% ME
24 months in 100% French oak, 40% new
This cabernet is beautifully balanced, medium-full bodied, and layered with a long plush finish. Aromas of sweet blackberry, layers of pipe tobacco and tea leaf with a hint of baking spice. With flavors of rich dark chocolate, currant, dried herbs, and fig.
We handpicked all our Cabernet Sauvignon early in the morning while temperatures were chilly. The whole clusters were delivered to the winery in small bins. The fruit was gently sorted and destemmed from the rachis (stems) then moved to stainless steel tanks and open top tanks for fermentation. After three days of cold soaking, fermentation was initiated with a hand-selected yeast that complemented our fruit. The fermenting juice was pumped over the fermenting skins 2-3 times daily for color and tannin extraction. When primary fermentation completed, the new wine was drained and pressed from its skins, then pumped to a fresh tank. Once settled in tank, the new wine was racked off its sediment to barrels and secondary fermentation began. Malolactic fermentation was completed in barrel which helped soften the wine. Aged on light sur lie, in 100% French oak, for 24 months, the resulting wine was racked from barrels to tanks for the final blend assemblage then held until bottled. - Matt Michael, Winemaker