2008 TEXTBOOK Cabernet Sauvignon "Saut de cerf", Stags Leap District, Napa Valley
- Superbly mature and well-drained site nestled amongst the craggy knolls of the Stags Leap District AVA
- Classic Bordelaise winemaking (blended varietals, new French oak, egg-white fining) partnered with robust Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon provides a vivid result
Vineyard Notes TEXTBOOK "Saut de cerf" Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a very special single vineyard site located in the eastern foothills of the appellation abutting the rugged and dry Vaca Mountains. This sub-section of the SLD is renowned for superb, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. The terrain is characterized by steep hills which bask in warm, sunny afternoons offering an ideal growing environment. Soil profiles include gravelly alluvium (eroded off the nearby mountains) covered by shallow gravelly loam and in some places interspersed with large boulders. They are quite infertile and very well-drained. Exemplary sustainable farming practices are employed in these mature sites and after veraison we culled unevenly ripened bunches which reduced yield to less than 6 pounds per vine (@ 2.75 tons/acre).
Production Notes TEXTBOOK Cabernet Sauvignon clusters were hand-harvested and then hand-sorted at the winery at an average of 26.1 Brix and subsequently cold soaked for four days in open-top, temperature-controlled fermenters. One daily punchdown during fermentation kept the caps immersed and extracted superb flavor and structure. After twenty days on their skins the must was gently pressed into French oak barriques where it completed ML fermentation over the winter. Press fractions were not used. Barrels were of the highest quality; 100% French, 45% new, three-year air-dried, medium-toast with toasted heads and handcrafted by Boutes and Francois Frères. Nineteen months maturation in barrel with two rackings and one egg white fining integrated flavors and developed its textured mouth-feel. Four barrels (100 cases) were bottled in Summer 2010. "Saut de cerf" is a direct translation of its appellation. We believe it is a "textbook" example of this noble variety grown in this outstanding appellation. It can be enjoyed over the next five years or more.
Winemaker Notes While the growing conditions in 2008 were very good, the one element that will be most remembered is the dearth of clusters and the very small size of these clusters. The vintage provided only 60% of normal rainfall and, combined with brutal frosts and extreme heats, the vines were clobbered, leading to the very small crop. Yield/acre was about 40% below normal, but the quality was very high. Over the summer it looked as though the season would be late, and a wicked heat spell burned some growers who had removed too many leaves. The weather cooled in September and Bordeaux varieties ripened beautifully. On October 12 small clusters were hand harvested in immaculate condition. TEXTBOOK 2008 "Saut de cerf" was crafted to be a delicious Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon - ready to enjoy in the medium-term, with the knowledge that its concentration will carry it for the long haul.