THE ALTRUIST CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013
The most nuanced wine that we make, our Altruist Cabernet always has layers and layers of complexity. Concentrated red berry fruit has both strawberry and cranberry character swirling with caramel, root beer and dusty cocoa powder highlights. Bright fruit comes across on the palate as brambly blackberries intertwine with tobacco and dark chocolate in this 2013 vintage. The entry is plush but robust as the wine expands. Try to stash a few bottles for a decade as this is a keeper! However so delicious when paired with slow-cooked pork shoulder deeply lacquered with roasted garlic and a hint of orange zest served on a bed of grilled fennel bulb.
23 months, French Oak (100% new)
At the base of Mt. St. Helena is a small canyon surrounded by wild Bay Laurel trees which cradle our Calistoga Estate vineyard. The rocky soils provide near perfect growing conditions for our Cabernet Sauvignon. The canyon itself is home to frequent thermal inversions as the cool evening fog spills down the western hills, displacing the autumn heat sitting on the rocks. This allows for extended harvest hang-time which we use in conjunction with careful canopy management to maximize filtered light within the vines, allowing the fruit to ripen evenly. The wines are sent to French oak barrels to mature, providing greater understanding of the direct impact of our viticultural practices each vintage. Seven Cabernet clonal selections add even further dimensional layers while the use of extended skin contact enhances the velvety texture in this structural wine.
The 2013 growing season was perfect! Below average rainfall, early spring budbreak, even fruit set and a hot summer. All of Napa Valley fast-tracked our summer bottlings to make room for an early harvest. Our white varietals had above average yields, slowing their arrival to the winery, while the small berry size on our red grapes had them rushing ahead of schedule. We practically started crushing Merlot from day one. Our estate Cabernet ruled the last two weeks of the vintage, enjoying extended macerations. Fast and furious was the ultimate pace of the vintage from beginning to end.