Deep complex fruit notes of ripe black cherry, French plums and cassis are complimented by violets, baker's spices and a hint of cocoa and dried pipe tobacco. This suave yet weighty wine possesses a midpalate density balanced by classic structure, refined tannins and a lengthy finish.
Vineyard & Vintage Notes
A third consecutive winter of low rainfall started the 2008 season. Budbreak was slightly later than average, with most signs of green growth not showing until the first week of April, rather than the more typical March. The interval was short before the commencement of the flowering and fruit set period in late May, punctuated by a heat spell in the high 90s and brisk winds. The warmth certainly encouraged fruit‐set, and all varieties were completed in less than ten days after bloom, giving great consistency to the individual berry development. Summer in 2008 was undoubtedly hot, with multiple heat spikes over 100 degrees. The harvest commenced with a bang in our Applebone Vineyard after a heat wave in late August/early September, though the weather then moderated to a long and mild fall. Moderate crop levels in our Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietal winegrapes achieved through judicious early cluster thinning produced wines of magnificent concentration.
Graveyard Hill in the cool Carneros region of Napa Valley is a tiny portion of Mitsuko's Vineyard, where the deep gravelly soils warm up earlier in the spring, leading to optimum ripening at the limits of the season, and giving us wines of elegance and finesse; in 2008, these Cabernet Sauvignon wines provided the foundation of our blend. Tenma Vineyard, on an alluvial fan in Jericho Canyon in northeastern Calistoga, produces Cabernet Sauvignon wines of deep color and intensity. Applebone Vineyard surrounds the winery, and the close‐planted vines actively compete with each other, taming vigor and increasing the intensity of the fruit. Dunaweal Vineyard, across Dunaweal Lane from the winery, has deep and fertile soil allowing our Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot to thrive, providing flesh and midpalate drive for the blend.
The individual lots of wine were racked at the completion of malolactic fermentation in the winter following harvest. In both the spring and summer of 2009 the wines were racked again, parcels combined and then returned to barrel. The finished wine blend wine was put up to tank in June 2010 after a total elevage of 18.5 months.