The 2009 vintage was one of the more evenly balanced growing years with no harsh extremes creating challenges for the growers or the winemaking team. We harvested our Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards throughout the month of October and into early November, a testament to gradual, even ripening. This year 86% of the grapes come from Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak and Mt. Veeder AVA vineyards: the balance coming from the valley floor in Rutherford. This is the highest percentage of mountain fruit in our Napa Cabernet that we have bottled to date, slightly more than the 2008 vintage. The result is a very dark, densely colored wine, rich in aromatics and intensely flavored. This is a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon showing great varietal character as well as its complex mountain terroir.
After some extended bottle aging, we still find the same aromatic and flavor characters that we had used as descriptors early in the life of this wine. There is wonderful intensity but now a much richer mouth-feel thanks to a softening of tannins. Aromas of spice, dark fruit, mocha and tobacco accompanying the classic Cabernet cassis character. Flavors of blackberry, cherry, plum, cocoa, espresso and allspice are framed by earthy, lingering, dusty (Rutherford Dust) tannins plus tobacco and cedar notes. All the virtues of this vintage show well as a young wine and should continue to cellar well for many years.