2014 TEXTBOOK Cabernet Sauvignon "Mise en place," Oakville District, Napa Valley
92 POINTS, OUTSTANDING - James Suckling
91 POINTS, OUTSTANDING - Robert Parker
90 POINTS - EXCELLENT - Wine Enthusiast
- Superbly mature and well-drained Cabernet site on rocky east-side of Oakville District AVA, next door to Screaming Eagle. Merlot site is on east-side, next to Paradigm, near To-Kalon and down the hill from Harlan.
- Classic Bordelaise winemaking (blended varietals, new French oak, egg-white fining) partnered with beautiful Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot provides a spectacular result.
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92 POINTS, OUTSTANDING
"Aromas of walnuts, bark and dark fruit follow through to a medium to full body, velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. Lovely fruit to this."
91 POINTS, OUTSTANDING
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Mise En Place, from Oakville, shows loads of licorice, Christmas fruitcake, sweet black fruits and a touch of oak in a medium to full-bodied, pure, concentrated style that is in keeping with the epic style of this vintage. Drink it over the next 12-15 years."
- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, December 2015
90 POINTS - EXCELLENT, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
- Wine Enthusiast, March 2017
- James Suckling
"Striking up front depth and richness..impressive!"
- Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Warm, sunny days, cool nights and perfect conditions all year long left us very encouraged that we’d have some superb wines in barrel. Although the harvest started and ended early, we were super excited about the depth of fruit and exemplary tannin profile at harvest. We were left wondering, “will this be as good as 2012 and 2013”? In the end it is a different vintage, and we think might overtake them in the long run.
Our “Mise en place” Cabernet Sauvignon comes from two very special single vineyard sites located on the extreme eastern and western sides of the Oakville District abutting the rugged and dry Vaca Mountain and verdant Mayacamas mountain ranges. These sub-sections of the Oakville AVA are renowned for superb, richly-textured Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The terrain is characterized by steep hills that bask in warm afternoons, offering an ideal growing environment. Soil profiles include gravelly alluvium (eroded off the nearby mountains) covered by gravelly loam and in some places interspersed with large boulders. They are infertile and very well-drained. Planted in the early 1980’s and 1990’s these sites clonal material include heritage selections (likely from Beaulieu Block).
Exemplary sustainable farming practices are employed in these mature sites. After veraison we culled unevenly ripened bunches which reduced yield to less than 7 pounds per vine (@ 3.2 tons/acre), low for the Oakville District.
TEXTBOOK Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot clusters were field-sorted, hand-harvested and then hand-sorted at the winery at an average of 25.9 Brix and subsequently cold soaked for 7 days in open-top, temperature-controlled fermenters. Two daily punchdowns during fermentation kept the caps immersed and extracted superb flavor and structure. After twenty-eight days on their skins we gently pressed into French oak barriques where the lots completed ML fermentation over the winter. Barrels were of the highest quality; 100% French, 50% new, three-year air-dried, medium-toast with toasted heads and handcrafted by Boutes, Francois Frères and Nadalié. A touch of Oakville Merlot from the westside foothills added mouthfeel and softness and completed the classic “Bordeaux Left Bank” blend profile. Twenty-three months maturation in barrel with two rackings and one egg white fining integrated flavors and developed its wonderfully balanced, yet textured mouth-feel. We bottled twenty-six barrels.
It is called “Mise en place” to reflect the preparation and diligence exercised in the vineyards and winery. We believe it is a “textbook” example of this noble variety grown in this outstanding appellation.
Regional Composition: 100% Oakville District
Varietal Composition: 81% Cabernet Sauvignon (Heritage Clone & 4 & 337), 19% Merlot
TA: 0.63 g/100mL