Our Cabernet Sauvignons garner their style from the diverse array of vineyards in Napa’s mountain, bench lands, and valley floor areas. Within each of these unique topographies, we focus on locations with well-drained, nutrient deprived soils that can stress the vines. With proper farming, the grapes from these locations possess extraordinary concentration of flavor, color, and texture. Cabernet Sauvignon does not lend itself to vineyard designation. Quite the contrary. Cab thrives when blending multiple vineyard sites especially in places as diverse as Napa Valley with its multitude of soils, slopes, aspects and pockets of unique weather. Our approach is to create a perfect balance in this Cab by marrying the weight and firm tannins of the mountains with the supple fruit forward notes of the valley floor and honoring the natural acidity.
For our 2015 Quilt Napa Valley Reserve, we tasted the developing wine throughout the fermentation and aging processes, then set aside the best 2% for this reserve bottling. Our lot selection was based on intensity, complexity and boldness of expression that could withstand a longer aging cycle and heavier use of new French oak.
While the 2015 Harvest Year was challenging due to the drought and variable weather conditions offered by the growing season, the 2015 vintage evolved into another beautiful vintage for the Napa Valley. Warm temperatures and dry conditions in Spring caused an early bud break, and considering the lack of winter rainfall, the canopy growth was decent and healthy. The resulting fruit ripened with deep color development and fruit flavors of black cherry, blackberry, and ripe plum. We completed harvesting the grapes on the third week of October without the interference of any weather events.
For this Reserve wine, the winemaking begins when we call a pick. Regular visits and assessment of each block direct us to harvesting at the right moment. Our assessment consists of testing sugar levels, acidity and pH, but more importantly, waiting for phenolic/physiological maturity. We want to see hard, brown seeds, copper canes, and yellowing of the canopy with some slight dimpling from dehydration on the skins. This gives us the assurance we will have no green tones in the resulting wine and the structure and intensity will be at its height. In the cellar, we de-stem all Cab and move the must to a temperature controlled tank where it will begin a partially frozen cold soak for up to 2 weeks, and pump over each day to prepare the skins for proper extraction. We then begin a cold fermentation, aiming for 30 days of active fermenting to slowly pull the color and structural elements out of the skins without getting seed tannins. After we achieve dryness, the wine sits under cap, in extended maceration for up to two weeks at which time we re-evaluate the progress of each lot before moving the wine to 59 gallon French oak barrels (70% new) where it undergoes a secondary fermentation. Our final blend (100% Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon) came about after numerous blind tastings and is the pinnacle of our Cabernet production.
COLOR: Dark garnet red.
AROMAS: Abundant notes of dark berry fruits, ripe plum, toffee, and toasted hazelnut intertwined
with hints of leather.
PALATE: Rich dark fruit at the forefront with hints of blackberry, boysenberry and cassis, that give
way to flavors of cocoa, cardamom, dried sage, and oak spice.
STRUCTURE: A full-bodied, complex Cabernet with layers of concentrated black fruit and excellent
balance. The wine’s breadth and structure is complemented by a supple, velvety mouthfeel, with
fine-grained tannins. The finish is long, smooth, and satisfying.