2011 TEXTBOOK Cabernet Sauvignon "Mise en place", Oakville District, Napa Valley
- 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
"Outstanding, exceptional complexity and character."
- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, October 2013
2010 VINTAGE - 92 POINTS, OUTSTANDING & HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
"Opaque ruby. Sexy aromas of candied dark berries, pipe tobacco, licorice and vanilla, with a smoky topnote. Broad, pliant, seamless blackberry and cherry-vanilla flavors are brightened by a spicy element. Emphatically fruity but structured cabernet, with strong finishing power and subtle, well-knit tannins that add shape. The fruit for this wine is sourced from a site in the high-rent eastern side of Oakville."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, May/June 2013
2010 VINTAGE - GREAT FLAVORS
“A true artisan wine, wonderful aromas of wild herbs, ripe black fruits, dried cherry, dark roasted coffee and smoky vanilla oak. Rich on the palate, featuring blackberry, plum, cassis, dark chocolate, and licorice, over toffee and vanilla oak. Smooth tannins on the balanced, peppery finish.”
- Sante Magazine
2009 VINTAGE - 91 POINTS, OUTSTANDING
"Opaque ruby. Pungent, oak-spiced aromas of dark fruit compote and cherry, with pipe tobacco, mocha and lavender nuances. Sappy and expansive, offering seamless, sweet blackcurrant and cherry preserve flavors that stain the palate. Tannins come on late and add shape and grip to a long, sweet finish."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
2008 VINTAGE - 91 POINTS
"Textbook "Mise en place" emerges from the glass with sweet scents of tobacco, licorice, herbs and dark fruit. It is an understated, classy wine, and its elegance and finesse are impossible to miss. An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character."
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
2008 VINTAGE - 91 POINTS. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, OUSTANDING
"Glass-staining ruby. Pungent aromas of blackcurrant, cherry pit, vanillin oak and cured tobacco. Densely packed and energetic, offering sweet dark berry and cherry compote flavors and notes of vanilla bean, mocha and licorice. Picks up a smoky oak quality with air that lingers on the very long, precise finish. Concentrated, polished cabernet with the structure to age."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Rainfall returned with a vengeance in 2011, including a wet winter and storms into June, delaying flowering. A cool summer pushed ripening back, and led the most diligent of growers to trim canopies and yields as a precaution. Shatter, combined with aggressive crop management, led to one of the smallest harvests in years. In the end, quality was better than expected, and again showed that Napa Valley, even in a cool, wet year, can deliver the flavor and structure required for delicious world-class wines.
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 6 pounds per vine (@ 2.75 tons/acre), very 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 25.2 Brix and subsequently cold soaked for 6 days in open-top, temperature-controlled fermenters. One to two daily punchdowns during fermentation kept the caps immersed and extracted superb flavor and structure. After twenty-two 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, 40% 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 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 twelve 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: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon (Heritage Clone & 4 & 337), 10% Merlot
TA: 0.63 g/100mL
Total Production: 12 barrels