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 13 and 14 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 2009, the median bud break in these blocks was April 8-10. Median bloom was May 21-26 and median veraison was August 4-8. Harvest ranged from September 23 to October 8. Yields averaged 2.5 tons per acre throughout the Cabernet blocks. After a warm extended maceration, the wine was aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dense, dark color. Initial aromas of mint, eucalyptus and sweet fruit. Sweet entry, immediately apparent deep berry and blueberry fruit. The complexity and softness of this wine increase with time or decanting. Tannins are brooding and firm, but fine-grained and in balance with the front palate. Richer, heavier dishes like steak and Guinness stew, or a rib-eye steak with a little Roquefort cheese would be lovely with this wine. Surprisingly full and approachable now, with potential for cellaring.