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.
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation Oakville District
Acid 0.63 g/100mL
Alcohol % 14
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, 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.
Winemaker Notes 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.
Production Regional Composition: 100% Oakville District AVA Varietal Composition: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon (Heritage Clone & 4 & 337), 10% Merlot