Our Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon comes from four distinctive blocks of vines – each planted to a different clone – in the acclaimed Vine Hill Ranch in Napa Valley’s gently sloping western benchlands near Oakville. We have purchased these grapes for nearly 30 years, and they have consistently produced superb, long-lived wines. Each block is hand-harvested separately at night to preserve the fruit’s fresh, pure character, and fermented and barrel-aged separately. After assessing the distinctive personality of each lot, we blend the four together to forge a uniquely complex and harmonious wine that speaks eloquently of its provenance.
2007 was an exceptional vintage for cabernet sauvignon in Napa Valley. A dry, mild winter and unusually warm spring prompted early budbreak and bloom, followed by a perfect grape set in June. Summer was consistently mild, with warm days and cool nights, ideal conditions for achieving maximum ripening and flavor development while retaining healthy levels of acidity. A warm early September and a modest crop got the harvest off to an early, fast-paced start, allowing us to pick our four special blocks of Vine Hill fruit between September 18th and 25th.
To ensure maximum extraction of color, flavor and tannin from our Vine Hill grapes, Cakebread Cellars winemaker Julianne Laks employs traditional artisan winemaking techniques. After the grapes are crushed, the juice from each lot is cold-soaked for 48 hours prior to initiating fermentation with a cultured French yeast strain that enhances texture, depth and intensity. Once fermentation completes, the wines enjoy an extended, three-week maceration on their skins to further extract color and flavor while softening tannins. The 2007 Vine Hill Cabernet Sauvignon spent 22 months aging in French oak barrels, 54% new, prior to bottling in August, 2009.
Our 2007 Vine Hill Cabernet Sauvignon offers a multifaceted bouquet of wonderfully bright, deeply concentrated black fruits – wild blackberry, black cherry and dark plum – complemented by fascinating dusty earth, cocoa, flint, mineral and toasty oak scents. On the full-bodied, seamlessly integrated palate, the wine’s intense and beautifully focused blackberry, cassis, dark cherry, plum and dark chocolate flavors gain a refreshing lift of acidity in the long, persistent finish. With great reserves of fruit, flawless structure, supple, beautifully integrated tannins and a distinctive personality derived from the unique attributes of Vine Hill Ranch, this stunning Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, from a great vintage, will age beautifully in bottle for a decade or more, although it drinks deliciously now.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Vine Hill Ranch, Oakville
Harvest Dates: September 18-25, 2007
22 months in French oak, 54% new