2013 VASO Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2013 vintage marks the start of a prolonged dry period in Napa. Most of the rain we received fell in March and April. With such a dry season we removed our cover crops early, so that any water in the soil would be left for the vines. While there were a few heat spikes in July, August, and September, the average temperatures were moderate, allowing the grapes to ripen fully while retaining structure and acidity. There was a little rain on September 21st, but the dry windy conditions kept the moisture from being any concern to fruit quality. October followed with perfect ripening conditions. The warm days helped the vines through the final stages of flavor and tannin development. The below average night time temperatures helped to retain the acidity in the grapes.
Our commitment to converting our vineyards to dry-farming was validated in 2013. Dry farming encourages the roots to dig deep for water. As such, the very dry conditions had little impact on our vineyards. Our Howell Mountain vineyard benefitted from the steady warmth and dryness, where the first Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on September 11th. A unique and varied site, the last fruit from our Howell Mountain vineyard didn’t arrive until October 23rd when the Petit Verdot was harvested. Our south-west facing vineyard site in the Vaca Mountains followed closely behind as the well- exposed vines were harvested over the course of 18 days beginning on September 12th. The deep roots and water rich soils of our Rutherford site enabled us to delay harvesting of the vineyard until berries reached their peak development on October 7th.
Stainless steel and concrete fermentations helped focus the purity and expression of the fruit, while upright oak tank fermenters and small barrel fermentations provided structure and balance. After undergoing native fermentations, the wines were drained and pressed directly to barrel where the native malolactic fermentation ran its course.
A deep maroon complexion with hues of violet hints at the intensity of the 2013 vintage from first glance. Aromas of Tahitian vanilla and truffle spring forth accompanied by notes of blackcurrant and plum. These scents meld into flavors of black cherry, cassis, and fresh blackberry on the expansive palate. The coating espresso bean entry yields to a generous and lush flow of youthful yet integrated tannins making for a lengthy and seamless finish. An exceptional expression of a vintage that is sure to please today and for years to come.
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec, 3% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot
20 months in French oak
Ermitage, Taransaud, Baron, Demptos
July 8, 2015