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2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, Estate Vineyard

94 Points - The Wine Advocate, June 2018
Retail Price: $100.00
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2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, Estate Vineyard
Varietal: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Moon Mountain District Sonoma County
Vineyard: Amapola Creek Estate Vineyard -CCOF
Brix: 26.6°
TA at harvest: 5.9 g/L
pH at harvest: 3.36
Harvest Dates: August 29 and September 14, 2015
Barrel Aging: 24 months in new and seasoned French oak barrels
Alcohol: 15.2%
Winemaster: Richard Arrowood
Production: 1,100 cases
Bottled: March 2018

The Vineyard

Spread along 600 vertical feet of a sun-washed western slope of the Mayacamas range, our 100+ acre Amapola Creek ranch borders the highly acclaimed Monte Rosso Vineyards. The red, basaltic volcanic soils we share with our esteemed next-door neighbor have yielded superb wine for well over the last 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. Estate vineyard blocks, China Wall, Bobcat Run, Fox Trot Meadow, and Montaña Vista were the sources for our 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. Using grapes from these distinct micro-climates and soil profiles allows us to showcase the diverse terroir of our vineyards.

Vintage

The weather during the growing season in 2015 was dry. We were fortunate to have had such a great harvest. The growing season began early, with a warm and dry spring, and the weather stayed beautiful all the way through an early harvest. The quality of the fruit was exceptional while the quantity was down 25% due to ongoing draught conditions. The grapes were hand-picked August 29 and September 14, 2015.

The Wine

The first thing to note with this wine is the color, the core is a red so dark it’s practically black, and it fades sharply to a rich garnet at the edge. Smell the glass, and your first impression will be blackberries with just a hint of anise liqueur. Stay with the glass for a moment, and the nose gains in black and red fruit, bright and fresh but with a sweet note of preserved Italian cherries.

Take a sip, and you will initially find a pleasant acidity coupled with a velvety mouthfeel, balanced against an elegant note of red currants. Linger a moment, and you will uncover bold characters of pomegranates and rock candy, with just a hint of the liqueur hinted at in the nose, all woven over a background of rich, juicy tannin. Swallow your sip, and you will find that the finish on this wine is huge and intense, a rolling wave of ripe tannins and decadent berry compote that is nearly overwhelming. At its peak, the finish unveils the heart of this wine; coffee and chocolate, blackberries and currants, anise and cedar, everything promised at the beginning of the palate is delivered with interest. You can hold, drink or cellar this wine for a decade.