2013 Wolfskill Reserve Wolfskill Vineyard
100% Cabernet Sauvignon planted in the 1970s by one of the descendants of William Wolfskill, one of the first great grape growers of California in the 19th century. The vineyard is on a moderately sloping hillside of excellent, well-drained Aiken soil, at the rocky intersection of Gordon Valley and Wooden Valley, just a few miles south of the Napa line in Suisun Valley. The vineyard is farmed with the great care and wisdom of Steve Tenbrink, who also grows the Babylon Petite Sirah for us. The vineyard is very restrained in its growth, and trained to a classical California sprawl, offering lots of dappled sunshine and easy passage of air for excellent, slow ripening without any roasting or dehydration.
We make the wine in a very traditional way: most of the fruit is destemmed, fermented in a large wooden tank with extensive pump-overs every day for about 30 days. Some of the fruit is fermented whole-cluster in large puncheons with frequent foot-treading. The two fermentation lots are aged separately and then blended a few months before bottling. The maturation is in neutral oak barrels, for about 22 months, with infrequent topping and little SO2 until bottling.
Our customary winemaking never emphasizes fruit and instead pushes the wines toward more secondary and tertiary flavors and aromas, but the nature of this vineyard is to produce wine with a distinct and irrepressible classical core of fruit. The wine has more acidity and minerality than many of its northern California peers, but it is still a very classical California Cab, produced in homage to the Cabs of the 1970s.
Total production about 360 cases.