A unique wine proving not all Cabernet is created equal, rich and sexy year after year makes it a favorite of our winemaker. Unusual blueberry fruit shines with abundant layers of raspberry not to be outdone by root beer, cola and licorice aromas. Meltingly rich on the palate, the jammy fruit harmonizes with mocha oak flavors from the barrel aging, vibrant acidity and balanced tannins. Buttery soft pork shoulder with grilled fennel would be a perfect foil to this delicious offering.
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 and Petit Verdot. 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 wine is 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 2015 vintage in Napa Valley celebrated a near-perfect growing season despite receiving less than half the normal rainfall. Late spring rains were well-timed, arriving after budbreak, allowing for even flowering, fruit set and helped power the vines throughout the season. However the third year of continued drought had our red grape yields difficult to estimate accurately, meaning our tank management at harvest was less than ideal. The exciting news is that the beauty of this wine reflects the pride we always feel heralding a new vintage of Cabernet here at Markham Vineyards.