2011 Bone Ash Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga Estate, Napa Valley
525 Cases Produced
95 Points, Cellar Selection
Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Steve Heimoff
To Be Featured April 2014
The Wine Advocate, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
"The bottled 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Bone Ash Vineyard has turned out exceptionally well in this lighter, more challenging vintage. Sweet, creamy cassis, licorice, and subtle oak and smoke notes are present in this forward, evolved, sexy, full throttle Cabernet. While the 2010 may be slightly bigger, denser and more formidable, the amazing 2011 is certainly one of the stars of the vintage. A gorgeous, long, velvety finish adds to the appeal of this wine, which should be drunk over the next 10-15 years. The good news is 525 cases were produced."
Bone Ash Vineyard
The 2011 is certain to impress. This vintage begins with wonder-ful purple color and aromatics that speak in the blue fruit spectrum. It certainly isn’t a shy wine. Blue and black berries, fruit preserves, and jelly jar notes fill the senses. As this wine opens up, the background notes of French Oak vanillin and soil come forth. The palate is young right now but will certainly make its way to being sensational. This is true Cabernet expression. Great fruit, mid-palate, body and streaming length; it’s all in there! The palate is polished and sophisticated. Currant, cranberry, blackberry and black cherry are all intertwined. The acid and tannin balance is youthful and promising. This wine will drink its best from 2014 through 2029.
Our Calistoga Estate “Bone Ash Vineyard” is our second of three estate vineyards we own and farm in Napa Valley. Much like are Oakville Estate and our Signal Fire Vine-yard, the vines are dry-farmed, or nearly so, with vine age averaging 30+ years. The re-sult is good root depth and mature, naturally healthy vines that produce beautifully bal-anced crops. Situated in the Northernmost tip of the eastern Napa Valley, we are sur-rounded by amazing vineyards that have endured and prospered over decades. The fruit here enjoys the warmest climate of the region and it shows in the bottle.
Harvest took place on October 23rd with average degrees Brix of 24.7. We were off to a later than usual start to the season because of unseasonably late rains. Then cool spring frost temperatures and midsummer sunburn with dehydration created yields similar to that in 2008. We escaped a large drop of October rains. On October 29th the wet weather arrived and 3.5 inches of rain ensued. Yields in the Bone Ash Vineyard were actually up a bit to 2.1 tons per acre. The cane pruned vines are comprised of Cabernet Clones #7 and #8, these vines’ roots are established very deep which allows the use of minimal irrigation. That struggle makes for wines with excellent flavor, body and overall complexity. We employ a minimalist approach on our Calistoga Estate, with near or-ganic processes in the farming of the property.
The fruit was hand sorted and destemmed into small, open top, stainless steel fermen-tors and time on skins lasted 40 days. The fruit was then lightly pressed, keeping “free run” and “press” fractions separate and aged in 85% new, tight grained French Oak bar-rels for a total of 22 months. While we do add yeast to finish primary fermentation, we allow the indigenous malolactic bacteria to complete the secondary fermentation. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.