Our 2015 might fool you into thinking it is going to be well-behaved with its floral, black raspberry entry. However, the aromatics just keep flowing with salted caramel, cocoa powder, cream soda, toasted nuts, vanilla, tobacco leaf… should we keep going? Ripe blackberry flavors are silky and bathed in rich oak to complement the nose. Powerful tannins, for which our Yountville Estate is known, allow this to be a perfect cellar selection. Wine-braised lamb shank served with roasted winter vegetables would provide a richness to soften the grippy tannin finish.
In the heart of Napa Valley, our Yountville Estate has an amazing lineage spanning over 140 years. Located on a hillside benchland, the well-drained soils are relatively thin due to their position atop the ancient alluvial fans. Areas of volcanic ash soils at the ranch show in the young wines as chalky tannins which are tamed with the extended maceration. Recent changes to row direction, vine spacing and new clonal selections have only continued to enhance the wine quality at this superb site. All of this allows for extended harvest hang-time which we use in conjunction with careful canopy management to maximize filtered light within the vines, thus allowing the fruit to ripen evenly. The wines are sent to French oak barrels individually to mature, providing greater understanding of the direct impact of our viticultural practices each vintage.
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 the beauty of this wine reflects the pride we always feel heralding a new vintage of Cabernet here at Markham Vineyards.