1997 Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon
Blend and Grape Sources
87% Cabernet Sauvignon from estate-grown grapes in Stags Leap and the Rutherford Bench as well as from independent growers; 12% Napa Valley Merlot; 1% Napa Valley Cabernet Franc.
Winemaking Data
Grapes were harvested from September 12, - October 4, 1997 at an average 25.0° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then barrel-aged for 20 months in a combination of older French oak (75%) and American oak (25%) before being blended and bottled in August, 1999.
Winemaker Notes
The 1997 growing season was both remarkable and confounding, producing grapes with the intensity of flavor and extract we would associate with a small crop, yet yielding one of the most abundant harvests on record. Our own tonnage was up 25% over projections in a year marked by a number of challenges, including:
• Torrential rains and flooding in January, which saturated the soil.
• High temperatures in June, July and the beginning of August, which contributed to one of the warmest growing seasons on record.
• Cool, foggy weather in the latter half of August (with an inch of rain August 18-19) that all but shut down the ripening process.
• A warm spell beginning September 19th that caused everything to ripen at once. If we were to draw up a wish list of weather patterns for the ideal vintage, they would not resemble the above! Yet our 1997 Napa Valley Cabernet meets or exceeds every quality standard this same wish list would include. With its opaque color, concentrated, jammy aromas of black cherry, herbs and mocha, the wine reveals similar, satisfying flavors and a long, intricate finish.