2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
Merryvale St. Helena Estate, Stagecoach, Sugarloaf
- Hand-picked, triple sorted
- Extended maceration
- Minimal handling; only racked twice
- Unfined and unfiltered
Aged 18 months in French oak (70% new), including 20% in 500 liter puncheons
14.5% by volume
Decant this wine in its youth and enjoy for the next 10+ years.
Our Napa Cabernet received choice lots from our Estate Vineyard located in the hills high above St. Helena, as well as fruit from other top Napa vineyards, including Stagecoach and Sugarloaf. The fruit was hand-picked and triple sorted before undergoing extended maceration and a long, cool fermentation for increased flavor, color and aroma. The wine was aged for 18 months in 70% new French oak, including 20% of the wine coming from larger 500 liter (132 gallon) puncheons. The wine only racked twice and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The 2008 vintage was a roller coaster ride from start to finish. The growing season started with a historic frost that resulted in some mild crop loss in the cooler areas, particularly with Chardonnay. Record high temperatures in May were abruptly followed by dry winds and then a cool rainy patch. With the lighter crop and warm, dry remainder of the growing season, ripening progressed ideally through harvest. The result is a slightly smaller crop in 2008 with above average to excellent quality.
Dark red/purple in color with lifted aromas of cassis, blackberry, violets and cedar interwoven with vanilla and toasty oak. The wine is plush and round in the mouth with resolved tannins and great intensity.