2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Pedregal Vineyard, Oakville
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” All of the vineyard signatures come through beautifully. Incense, smoke, tobacco, wild flowers and black fruit meld together in an effortless, gracious Cabernet Sauvignon.”
– 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 year’s Pedregal is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot, co-fermented.
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 cool Napa vintage. Lightly fined with egg whites, it was bottled without filtration in July 2013.
This is our eight vintage from this small, outstanding vineyard on the lower slopes of the eastern Oakville hills. “Pedregal” means a rocky place in Spanish, and that is certainly a distinguishing feature of the site. During 2008 we agreed to a long-term lease of this vineyard which gives us complete control even through any change in ownership, so this is the fourth vintage we’ve directed farming ourselves.