2014 Release, Napa Valley Cabernet SauvignonUdsolgt
Following the two great vintages of 2012/13 it is somewhat difficult to continue having to find superlatives and descriptors for yet another fantastic vintage from Napa. However 2014 is just that!
One of the driest on record the winter season leading into 2014 provided Napa Valley with rainfall totals approximately half of normal.
With California entering its 4th year of continuous drought this could have proven to become a challenging growing season had it not been for heavy rains that threw about 15” in late February/early March.
With vines emerging from dormancy and just about to start another early growth cycle the timing simply could not have been more ideal.
Aided by a warm spring without any precipitation, conditions were perfect for bloom resulting in a great fruit-set and yields that generally were at or even above the abundant 2013-vintage.
A mild summer kept irrigation needs to a minimum resulting in slightly smaller berries with greater concentration and thus more intense flavors.
Intense was certainly also the word that came to mind on 8/24 when a devastating 6.0 earthquake jolted through Napa and created havoc and lots of damage in the region.
Although devastating for many structures (and wine-barrels/bottles stacked high in warehouses!) vineyards were largely unaffected and starting about a month later most winemakers could begin picking perfectly ripe fruit at leisure fitting their individual styles and preference.
For Release Winery picking dates are always determined solely on taste with the goal of letting each vintage show its unique style, structure and personality. True to this philosophy the grapes for our 2014-vintage were therefore well into fermentation before the first (light) shower arrived mid-October.
Having crafted yet another wine that finds its inspiration in the “old-school” Napa hillside Cabs from 1960-80’s we are thoroughly proud to here share our 5th vintage (“V”) with you.
Bottled July 2016 after 21+ months of aging in French oak barrels this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from two hillside vineyards 1700’ up Atlas Peak is bound for a long evolution in bottle and will certainly reward those with both patience and cold cellars. For those with less forbearance decanting for 12+ hours is recommended.