2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Hendry Blocks 8, 16, 17 and 18 are located on benchlands west of the town of Napa. The vines grow on thin stony soil between 150 and 300 feet above sea level. Morning fog and strong afternoon breezes from San Pablo Bay moderate our vineyard’s climate. The majority of the grapes for this wine (54%) still come from our old Block 8, planted in 1974. The vines are spaced 8’ x 10’ and cordon trained. The clone is U.C.D. 7, grafted to St. George roots. A seven-foot vertical trellis system supports the cordon and the canopy. Average production is roughly 2 tons per acre.
Blocks 16, 17, and 18 were planted in 1996, 1996, and 1997 and are also on St. George rootstock. They are grafted to U.C.D. clones 7, 4 and 337/15. Their inclusion in our Cabernet Sauvignon marks a milestone in the vines maturity. At almost 20 years old, they have reached a level of depth and complexity comparable to the older blocks. (Blocks 8A and B, replanted in 2006, will be used in our HRW program until they reach maturity.)
In 2012, the median bud break in these blocks was April 14-15. Median bloom was May 29-30 and median veraison was August 5-7. Harvest ranged from October 5 for the younger blocks to the 12th for the more mature vines. Yields averaged 2.1-3.5 tons per acre throughout the Cabernet blocks. After a warm extended maceration, the wine was aged for 21 months in 90% new French oak barrels. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dense, dark berry color. In the initial aromas, pretty blackcurrant and caramel form the base notes, with soft cedar and black licorice. Very firm tannins portend a long life for this ripe, concentrated, dark wine. Decanting recommended to bring out the deeper, sweet fruit flavors and release the firm tannin grip; the wine becomes full and velvety with time and air. We love wines like this with short ribs braised in wine, filet mignon (especially with blue cheese), and rich, creamy polenta made with Gorgonzola or Fontina.