TOR Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, 2009
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Production: 207 cases
Release Date: January 2011
Almost perfection. Unlike the year before, frost was not an issue, weather was ideal for bud break, bloom and set. The growing season as a whole represents one of the most uniform I can remember with a minor heat spike in June, another in August, and none all the way thru harvest. The blemish came in the way of a mid-October wet storm, the tail end of a typhoon coming across the Pacific that dropped several inches of warm rain. Thankfully for us our vineyard sites had reached full maturity (94% were harvested) by the time this storm hit so the impact on our wines was minimal to insignificant. We feel that the overall quality in 2009 is on par with 2007 and 2008 for our Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards; Beckstoffer To Kalon, Mast, and Cimarossa.
This is the second time we have made a Cabernet from more than one vineyard source. The first was in 2005, with our Mast-Cimarossa, still one of my favorite wines. I prefer single vineyard expressions over most blends for numerous reasons, but now and then a blend transcends a single vineyards expression, as it does here.
The fundamentals are to have the vineyard stand above and beyond any flavors winemaking brings to the equation. We do berry sort, crush cold – early morning, crush and ferment at temperatures that preserve varietal indemnity, never over aerate, and never filter or fine. We like to leave everything in, not remove flavors. Our favorite French coopers are Darnajou and Tarasaund for our Cabernet Sauvignons. We believe great winemaking is to know what not to do, which does take experience.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes
On the nose you get the cool side of cabernet with earth/blackberry/cloves and a touch of mint. On the palate this is medium/full weight with just silky smooth tannins. This wine shows its base in Yountville with the black side of fruit as well as slightly more Bordeaux like profile. The addition of some famous Oakville fruit gives it some up front sweetness and depth. The addition of the Cimarossa Cabernet lends some cool climate spice and slightly firm tannins on the finish.