2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
February 11, 2015
May 1, 2015
Our inaugural Cabernet Sauvignon is something of a contradiction on the palate: elegant yet powerful, with dark fruit but plenty of acidity, we think that it gracefully walks the line between classic Napa flavors and old world sensibility. Deep purple in color, the nose shows aromas of cherry, blackberry, and anise, along with hints of fresh herb, and a touch of tobacco. The palate is vibrant, with a mix of dark and red fruit joined by graphite, herb, and an underlying minerality. Mountain tannins are balanced by freshness, and even a certain lightness on the palate. A natural pairing with red meat, this wine also works well with mushrooms, as there is something vaguely pinot-noir like about it.
When Hatton Daniels started in 2009 with one ton of Pinot Noir, we really didn't know where it would lead us. As we progressed through a few vintages of Pinot and added a Chardonnay, the lure of expanding to other varieties became impossible to resist. In 2013 we were presented with the opportunity of working with the tiny Phillip French Vineyard, and jumped at the chance. Located top of a steep hill in between Coombsville and Atlas Peak, with stunning views of the Napa Valley below, the vines slide down the hill in all directions in volcanic soils, resulting in a variety of aspects, which I believe contributes to the complexity of the finished wine. Inspired by the great Napa mountain wines of the 1970s and 1980s, the goal was an elegant wine with plenty of tannin and acidity. The fruit was 100% destemmed, but not crushed, resulting in a semi-carbonic fermentation in which the juice was not fully extracted from the berries until fermentation was almost complete. Fermentation was cool, not exceeding 83F, and long, taking place over 10 days. The must was pumped-over twice a day, and the wine was pressed after only a few days on the skins post fermentation. Aged in French oak, 33% new, we are thrilled with the way this wine turned, but urge you to be patient, as it really needs some time in bottle to show its best.