Spread along 600 vertical feet of a sun-washed western slope of the Mayacamas Range, our 100-plus-acreAmapola Creek ranch borders the highly acclaimed Monte Rosso Vineyard. The red, basaltic volcanic soils we share with our esteemed next-door neighbor have yielded superb wine for well over a century. The rhyolitic soils from our China Wall Vineyard add a firm tannin structure to the French clone Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted there in 2000. All 20 acres of our mountain estate vineyards are CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) certified organic. Four estate vineyard blocks, China Wall, Bob Cat Run, Fox Trot Meadow, and Montaña Vista, were the sources for our 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. Using grapes from these four distinct microclimates and soil profiles allows us to showcase the diverse terroir of our vineyards.
During this semi-drought year, a heat spell started in late June, and the temperature remained warm, with a heat spike at the end of August, pushing harvest up by several weeks. We harvested the grapes beginning September 19, 2009. The crop produced intense flavors and colors. The 2009 vintage proved to be exceptional, yielding complex, balanced, and ripe fruit that resulted in a lush, full-bodied wine.
Like most great Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine starts quietly on the nose. You will first perceive notes of cedar and anise that open up onto concentrated black fruit after a moment in the glass. On the palate, this wine shows a subtle mixture of rich, dark flavors: blackberry, cassis, and juicy red plum vying for attention against a backdrop of lush tannins. Every character hinted at before develops with a startling intensity. Huge black fruit integrated with elegantly spicy oak, gentle notes of bitter chocolate, and juicy red berries are all woven together with bracing tannins that will allow this wine to age gracefully for decades to come. The finish is long and deep, bursting with luscious candied fruit characters, lasting a full minute or more. This is a true winemaking achievement. Enjoy this wine, but don’t forget to cellar some for the future as well!