2016 VASO Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2016 growing season began with soil full of water, giving the vines access to a needed respite from 3 years of drought. The season began early with a warm April and May, promoting healthy canopies early in the season. The higher than average growth lead to extra work in the vineyards to keep the fruit zone open, which is critical for tannin development and reducing mildew pressure. Flowering occurred ideally in mid-May during warmer weather, resulting in a moderate to slightly below crop level. Veraison occurred early, allowing for a longer ripening period with plenty of time for flavor and tannin development. The summer heat was moderate with a few heat spells towards the end of the growing season, allowing for control of ripeness. This near perfect growing season yielded wine with great balance, precision, and depth of flavor.
The core of our VASO blend comes from our highest and coolest vineyard, Hershey Vineyard sitting atop Howell Mountain. Our philosophy of minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery has resulted in a slow progression to dry farming. The results are balanced vines that produce small intensely flavored berries with thick darkly colored skins. Harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon started on September 15th in our western facing Crystal Springs Vineyard and continued over 7 days. Lotus was picked next on September 22th followed a week later by the Merlot at Hershey, our earliest block. Harvest wrapped up with the SEE Clone of Cabernet at Hershey on October 12th.
We used various fermentation vessels to harness the complexity of our sites including oak upright tanks, single barrel fermentations, and concrete tanks. After undergoing native fermentation, the free run juice is drained directly to barrel for native malolactic fermentation and aging, not being touched again until blending in early Spring.
Aromatically bright, the 2016 VASO captures the different terroirs and varietals in this Cabernet-based blend with fragrances of red cherry, fruit brambles, and baker’s chocolate with hints of nutmeg and baking spices. The entry has flavors of sweet plums, roasted coffee, and dried herbs, as the hillside tannins fills out the mid palate. The wine is supple and creamy yet has a structured palate. Bright and approachable now, this wine will continue to develop as the years pass.
83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 4% Merlot
22 months in French oak
Ermitage, Taransaud, Baron, Demptos, Sylvain, Artisan
August 2nd, 2018