2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Annum, Napa Valley
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” The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Annum is quite soft and accessible in this vintage, with less of its trademark richness, but impeccable overall balance. Sweet herbs, dark red cherries, mint and licorice meld together in the glass. In 2011, the Annum includes 25% Cabernet Franc, which gives the wine lovely aromatics. The 2011 finishes with terrific juiciness and resonance. This is a great showing, especially within the context of an extremely challenging vintage.”
– Antonio Galloni, Vinous, February 2014
The growing season was cool and wet through spring. Bud break was delayed by 1-2 weeks in most of our vineyards. The weather stayed cool through fruit set and into harvest. Toward the end of the growing season, the days remained cool but the nights were much warmer than normal, which accelerated ripening. Due to the warmer nights and two incoming rain storms, our last vineyards were harvested on October 20th. Overall, the cool weather resulted in slower ripening. We had phenolic maturity without sugar accumulation so the 2011’s are lower in alcohol. They are elegant expressions of a cool vintage.
This release is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, from these appellations: Oakville, 61%; Mt. Veeder, 21% and Diamond Mountain, 18%, harvested between October 15 to October 20.
Aging the 2011 sur lies with monthly bâtonnage has coated the tannins and smoothly integrated the wood. We aged this vintage 19 months in completely new French barrels (Taransaud and Darnajou). As with all of our wines, it went through native yeast and malolactic fermentations. This wine combines the harmony produced by traditional Bordelaise winemaking techniques with the volumptuousness of even a coool Napa vintage. Lightly fined with egg whites, it was bottled without filtration in July 2013.
The sixth vintage of this blend–it represents our version of a “winemaker’s wine.” Having spent so much time working in Bordeaux and visiting Burgundy, the Loire and the Rhône, I’m deeply steeped in French winemaking tradition, including their orientation toward the growing site or region. Thus, all our wines are either vineyard designates or regional blends. While Annum is an appellation wine, it is the one blend we make each year that allows us to select from a range of vineyards to make the best blend possible that vintage.