Though Zinfandel is our flagship wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, AKA ‘the king of red wine grapes’,is equally as important to us. We farm 105 acres of grapes: 33 of them are Zinfandel and 29 are Cabernet Sauvignon. Between the two they make up 40% of our total production. As the harvest season continues we’ll look at our Cabernet Sauvignons: Wisdom, Three Vineyards and Block 007.
Wisdom Vineyard, West Dry Creek Road.
We were the first to plant this varietal in Dry Creek Valley. In 1965 John and Jim bought five acres a couple of miles west of the winery. For 50 years we farmed the piece which turned out to be a perfect spot for the King. When the vineyard chief, John Pedroncelli, agreed it was time to pull them up-who has ever heard of old vine Cabernet?-they did and replanted with site specific qualities in mind, A culmination of the years of 'wisdom' gained from knowig the land, the microclimate and the right grape. The decision was made to include a few rows of Malbec and 10 years later, at prime maturity, we are looking at a blockbuster vintage.
The vineyard was harvested on September 13. The Malbec, while it isn’t always ready to be picked at the same time, was ready to be included in this vintage and is being co-fermented in tank 092, one specifically designed for small lots. Montse Reece, winemaker, plans a four day cold soak so the must (juice and skins) has time to coalesce giving the wine a head start by adding more color and better aromatics pre-fermentation. The must will be inoculated with a Bordeaux strain of yeast and fermentation will take 10-12 days, with pumpovers being an integral part of developing complexity and flavor.
A toast to the Wisdom vineyard with a splash of Cabernet in my Dino!