2010 TEXTBOOK Cabernet Sauvignon "Mise en place", Oakville District, Napa Valley
- Superbly mature and well-drained sites on rocky east-side of Oakville District AVA, next door to Screaming Eagle, down the road from Rudd & Joseph Phelps' Backus Vineyard
- Exemplary farming practices provided dense clusters with perfect flavor and maturity
- Classic Bordelaise winemaking (blended varietals, new French oak, egg-white fining) partnered with beautiful Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon provides a spectacular result
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Acid 0.63 g/100mL
Alcohol % 14.5%
Ratings 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
Vineyard Notes 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.
Production Notes 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, 45% 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-six 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. It can be enjoyed over the next decade.
Winemaker Notes While we suffered through almost thirty days of frost in 2008, in 2010 we saw only five. And we saw helpful late spring rains which filled reservoirs and a heat spell in June which curtailed excessive canopy development. By mid-summer we were optimistic as it gave us only a few 100F-plus days so we saw little shriveled fruit and ripening occurred evenly. A splash of rain in early October dusted off the leaves and caused little worry for the thick-skinned Cabernet grapes. On October 18 & 21 we hand-harvested bunches in immaculate condition with excellent flavor and balanced acids. Our 2010 “Mise en Place” is crafted to be a delicious Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon; full and complex now, knowing that a few years under proper cellar conditions will enhance its complexity.
Production 12 barrels