1988 Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: The 1988 vintage began much like 1987 with an unusual warm spell in March and April getting the vines off to an early start. Flowering appeared normal, although the early bud-break had the vineyard managers concerned about the prolonged threat of frost damage. By the time summer arrived, it was clear mild drought conditions were to continue. Temperatures remained relatively cool retarding harvest until the sudden warming trend at the end of August. Sugar levels rose quickly bringing harvest on during the Labor day weekend. After several pauses to wait on the sugars levels to rise in the Cabernet, harvest was finally completed late, with the last of the fruit being brought in on November 11th.
Vineyards: The Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes in this wine come from our two vineyard locations. The vineyards were chosen for their mature vines, in regions that consistently produce outstanding Cabernet and Merlot fruit. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown at our Oakcross Vineyard in Oakville, which is in the heart of Napa Valley. Hillview Vineyard, south of Yountville, produced the outstanding Merlot fruit that is an important part of the Cabernet blend.
Harvest: The long cool summer had us prepared to start harvest at more normal times in mid-September, but a sudden warming trend in August brought sugar levels in the Cabernet up quickly. However, after the harvest of the white varietals the weather cooled and stalled the Cabernet harvest until the first week of October. The usual Indian Summer never arrived so harvest continued slowly for the rest of the month.
Sugar: 22.4 Brix
Acid: 0.79 g/100ml
Fermentation and Aging: Fermentation was done in the traditional manner, using temperature controlled stainless steel tanks which helped to maintain an average temperature of 75 degrees F during the fermentation. The wine was pumped over twice daily for optimum skin contact. By the end of 7 days, the wine, fermented to dryness, was ready for secondary, malolactic fermentation.
Once the finished wine was ready for barrel aging, it was transported to our cellar facility south of Napa. The Cabernet was aged in a combination of new and used French Nevers and Allier oak barrels. The Merlot was barrel aged separately in both new and used Limousin cooperage. The wine spent 19 months in the barrel prior to bottling in August, 1990.
Bottling Date: August 1990
Size: 750 ml, 1.5 L, 3 L, 5 L and 6 L bottles
Bottle age at release: 12 months
100% Napa Valley
100% estate grown
85% Cabernet from Oakcross Vineyard, Oakville
15% Merlot from Hillview Vineyard, south of Yountville
Total Acidity: 0.66 g/200ml
Alcohol: 12.5% by volume
Winemaker Notes: This wine has the immediate appeal of forward cherry/berry fruit and moderate tannins, which is consistent with our previous releases. A hint of pepper and spice comes from the Merlot blend. The long and smooth finish displays the lush black cherry fruit and vanilla oak. This vintage should develop beautifully in the bottle for the next 8 to 10 years.
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