October 19 - November 2, 2011
23.0 - 25.0
21 months in 33% new French & Hungarian oak
July 3, 2013
2011 High Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon
Currant, blackberries, plum skin and a hint of tar, leap from the glass in this complex wine. The rich, soft entrance gives way to mouth-filling tannins, providing the backbone to a long finish. This deep wine really shows the Cabernet varietal character of what we call cherry/berry: loads of black cherry flavors with blackberry, currant and a hint of dried herb are noticeable flavors. The mountain fruit hallmarks of black fruit and structure are dominant. Time in bottle will lead to elegance, or decant with a dose of air to liberate this big Cab.
Why “High Mayacamas”? In 2011, I set out to produce a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine that would express the qualities of mountain grown fruit. In our region we have the Mayacamas mountain range, a red, rocky volcanic backbone that is a prominent feature in the Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino and Napa counties. I chose six vineyards, all above 2,000’ elevation, which with higher UV rays produce grapes with thicker skins. The elevation factor combines with incredible soils and cooler temperatures to grow grapes that translate to wines of great color and depth, and a structure of mouth filling tannins and wonderful length. These wines can be long lived and grow with complexity as time pushes on.
We punched down twice daily and after an average of 20 days we pressed to barrel, 33% new. The wines were racked every 5 months and were bottled after 21 months in barrel.
2011 was a very difficult year in many respects for many of the wineries in the North Coast. The early October rains created a scenario of evident mold in some vineyards. Cabernet, normally very resistant due to thick skins and loose clusters, was hit severely in many valleys. Fortunately for us, our vineyards were high in the mountains and we experienced very little, if any mold throughout harvest. This allowed us to employ our normal fermentation protocol of Native Yeast fermentation and cold soaking of the fruit for four days.