2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon


2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon


Tasting Notes

The wine is an inky ruby purple in color.  Classic aromas of blackberry, cedar, black currant and licorice are initially expressed.  With time in the glass, complex notes of blueberry, dark chocolate, plum, black tea and cherry are also revealed. The wine has a rich, elegant structure that allows it to be enjoyed on its own or with food.  The experience is capped off by rich, smooth long finish.  Additional layers of complexity and richness will be revealed over multiple days.  The wine will age gracefully for 15-20 years.


With a warm, dry spring, bud break came early.  The weather was ideal during flowering and fruit set and remained so during the remainder of the growing season with the exception of one summer heat spike.  Harvest started about two weeks early and allowed for picking at optimal ripeness.  Rain did hit twice during mid-September, but without much of any adverse effects.  Yields were slightly higher than normal and uniformly excellent.

Rafael Vineyard

The vineyard is located northwest of the town of Napa just within the boundary of the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley AVA. It’s a unique, highly prized hillside location with southern exposure and steep slopes that dramatically rise to well over 400 feet in elevation. Yields are low at between 2 to 3 tons per acre in the well-drained soils. Twenty five acres in plantings are primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon with a small block planted to Chardonnay. The vines are meticulously cane-pruned to optimize vine balance between vigor and yield. 


Our philosophy is that minimal intervention in winemaking practices allows for the best expression of the unique characteristics of the vintage as captured in the grapes.  The 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes came from two different blocks at the top of the Rafael estate vineyard.  The grapes were destemmed to tank and fermented on the skins for 18 days. The fermenting wine was gently pumped over twice a day. The wine was then pressed off of the skins and put in French oak barrels, 40% new, and aged for 23 months before being bottled. ML fermentation proceeded naturally to completion in barrel.

Technical Information

Harvest Dates: September 13, 2013
Sugar: 25.5 degrees Brix
Titratable Acidity: 5.59 g/l
pH: 3.87
Alcohol: 14.2%
Cases produced: 778. 

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