2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Tech Sheet
Blend and Grape Sources
85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc from estate-owned vineyards and independent growers.
Sept. 24 - Oct. 29, 2003
Grapes were harvested at an average 24.4° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 20 months in a combination of new French and American oak barrels (55%) and two- to four-year-old French and American oak (45%), before being blended and bottled in July, 2005.
Our 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet displays dark ripe fruit aromas of plum and blackberry. The integration of subtle oak flavors comes from the variety of coopers selected, yielding a hint of cinnamon and allspice. Chocolate and typical cigar box notes pave the way for a velvety finish with sweet oak, cassis, and well-balanced tannins.
A cool, wet spring seemed to forecast a vintage that would have difficulty ripening, but July and August were unusually warm without the fog-shrouded mornings typical of Napa Valley summers. Clear skies provided a complete daily dose of solar radiation to the vines and fruit, allowing for good photosynthesis and grape development, and hot weather in mid-September provided additional heat accumulation. After the heat spell broke, it was replaced by near-ideal weather conditions of overcast mornings, warm, sunny afternoons and temperatures in the low to mid eighties. Actual crop harvested was significantly lower than estimates with less than two tons per acre from many vineyards as a result of earlier crop removal to mitigate mildew. Berry size was small with excellent acid balance and overall quality -- less variable than '02 -- appears excellent.