86 POINTS - Wine Enthusiast- October 2011
SILVER MEDAL - 2011 Tasters Guild International Wine Judging
SILVER MEDAL - 2011 Grand Harvest Awards
SILVER MEDAL - 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
2006 was a solid growing year in Alexander Valley for Cabernet Sauvignon – a finesse vintage with good density of fruit but softer, more mature tannins. Physiological ripeness happened at slightly lower sugars than in past years, providing a sense of balance that should serve this wine well. A late starting season, due to an unusually cool and wet Spring, led to a later finishing season. A drop in temperature mid-August allowed the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes a bit more time to ripen.
The Reichel/Smith vineyard is located on Pine Mountain, high above the valley floor in the northernmost reaches of Alexander Valley. At an elevation of 2,100 feet, it is graced with ample sunshine and is rich in volcanic soils. We processed this vintage slowly allowing for dense extraction of both color and flavor. It spent 30 months in 40% new French oak. The wine was racked 4 times the first year, 3 times the second and once during the last 6 months in the barrel. During the blending trials, it was decided to keep it 100% Cabernet. No filtering occurred before bottling.
This 100% cab is a supple wine that possesses sweeter fruit, greater volume and a full-bodied style with great depth. Aromas of black currant, violets, and a hint of mocha predominate. On the palate, creme de cassis, blackberry and black cherry with a touch of cedar. Beautifully textured, pure, elegant, yet with substantial tannins, this is a Cabernet to enjoy over the next 10+ years. Let this cab air a bit to open up, or run it through your Vinturi. If patience is a virtue you possess, leave a touch in the bottle overnight and then try it the next day. You will see this Cabernet certainly possesses the ability to age gracefully.
Varietal Composition: 100% “Block 8” Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Brix (at harvest): 24.5
Barrel Program: Aged 30 months 100% French oak barrels, 40% new