This wine is almost entirely from out Block 2 planting, the highest and largest block in the vineyard. The top of our Estate is less steep, which has allowed for the accumulation of top soil. This captures more moisture and nutrients than the hill side Rhone plantings, making it a more suitable home for Cabernet and the smaller plantings of Merlot and Cab Franc. The bedrock below is still limestone rich though, and perhaps no other varietal showcases the impressive blend of ripe fruit, bold structure and bright acid as does our Cabernet Sauvignon. This vintage produced perfect Paso Robles conditions of ample winter rainfall, gentle spring for flowering and fruit set, followed by warm but not overly hot summer providing perfect conditions for prolonged ripening.
The fruit was handpicked, and cluster sorted in the winery before de-stemming. The whole berries were moved uncrushed into 4-ton open concrete fermenters. The tanks were pumped over 2 times daily for the first 7 days to create an oxygen rich environment for the yeast. Once ferment was 70% complete, the routine was changed to twice daily punch downs to keep the cap wet and prolong the fermentation to allow extended maceration. After 16 days, the fruit was pressed and racked to barrels, a blend of 20% French Orion and 20% French Atlier new oak, with the balance being neutral. After 20 months, the wine was racked out, gently filtered to remove lees and then bottled.