2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon


2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon



The drought received a welcome break in February providing enough rain to sustain the growing season. With a warm, dry spring, bud break came early. The weather was close to ideal with sunny days and cool evenings. Harvest started about two weeks early and allowed for picking at optimal ripeness. 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. Bordering Mt. Veeder, it’s a unique, highly prized hillside location with southern exposure and steep slopes that dramatically rise to well over 400 feet in elevation. Sitting in the Dry Creek alluvial fan, the well drained soils on the upper terraces are stony volcanically derived, transitioning to silty clay loam on the lower portion of the site. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines are planted on 110R rootstock, using Clone 7 and meticulously cane- pruned to optimize vine balance between vigor and yield. Vineyard practices are certified Napa Green Land and Fish-Friendly Farming, one of the most comprehensive environmental certifications in California.


Our philosophy is that minimal intervention in winemaking practices allows for the best expression of the unique characteristics of the vintage. The 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes came from two different blocks at the top of the Rafael estate vineyard. The grapes were de- stemmed to tank and fermented on the skins for two weeks. The fermenting wine was gently pumped over twice a day. The wine was then lightly pressed off of the skins and put in carefully chosen French oak barrels, 40% new. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation proceeded naturally to completion in barrel and racking occurred twice over the course of 23 months aging, before being bottled, unfined and unfiltered.

Tasting Notes

The wine is a profound ruby purple in color. Classic aromas of blackberry, cedar, black currant and licorice are initially expressed. With time in the glass, complex notes of sage, clove, graphite, pencil shavings and plum are also revealed. The wine has an powerful, savory and elegant structure that allows it to be enjoyed on its own or with food. The experience is capped off by an opulent smooth long finish highlighted by black cherry, and an invigorating gravelly minerality. Additional layers of complexity and richness will be revealed over multiple days. The wine will age gracefully for 15-20 years.

Technical Information

Harvest Dates: September 13 and 27, 2014, Sugar: 26.2 and 24.8 degrees Brix, Titratable Acidity: 5.53 g/l, pH: 3.87, Alcohol: 14.2%, Cases produced: 1007.

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