The 2014 growing season was nearly ideal with a long string of warm days, cool nights and very few heat spikes. The previous winter was one of the driest on record in California, but heavy rains in February and March provided the vines with much needed water just as they were emerging from dormancy. The warm and mild spring led to an early bud-break and subsequent early harvest in late September and early October.
The 2014 red wines from Napa Valley are dark, deeply concentrated and show excellent depth. While the wines from the vintage have the structure to age well into the next decade, they are remarkably approachable in the near term.
The Garvey Home Ranch in the western hills of Rutherford, just above the bench, is a certified Organic block of Cabernet Sauvignon. The cordon-pruned Clone 4 is planted in rocky loam soils on a steep, low-yielding hillside block. These vines produce loose, small-berried clusters that contribute to intense berry flavors, deep color and concentrated tannins.
The Merlot and Cabernet Franc components of the blend are sourced from vineyards on Howell Mountain and Rutherford. While the Cabernet Sauvignon component is primary focus of the blend, these two additional varieties add dimension and complexity with spice, tobacco and earthy loam notes.
In 2014 we opted to blend a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Muscatine Vineyard, located high up in the Soda Canyon. This 1/2-acre parcel planted with clone 337 in Aiken Loam soil is tucked away in the rugged Soda Canyon at about 800 feet above sea level. Fruit from this vineyard is firmly structured with a rich black raspberry character.
We harvest the grapes from each vineyard at daybreak and de-stem directly into one-ton open-top fermentation vessels without breaking the skins. The berries are allowed to warm gradually over several days and begin to ferment on their native yeast. We gently punch down the skins four times each day during the active fermentation and macerate the fruit for about 30 days.
Aged for 22 months in 225 Liter barrels and bottled without filtration. Only 85 cases were produced.
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