Every year I think I won’t be able to love this wine more and then I do. This vintage has intense aromas of boysenberry syrup, flourless chocolate cake and hints of clove and all-spice. I feel like even from the nose I can tell how much struggle is translated to flavor from the steep and dry-farmed terrain and into the glass. The palate is like chocolate covered blueberries with dusty tannins and bright acid. We held this wine for an extra 4 months over previous vintages to smooth out some of the tannins and it has worked like a charm, allowing all the beautiful fruit to really be showcased in this wine.
Rockpile is such a special appellation. From the proximity to the coast, sitting above the fog line and the steeply terraced vines, one can see where the immense flavors and intensity in the wines originate.
Our Rockpile Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested by hand from steeply trellised terrain starting at daybreak. The grapes were hand sorted both in the vineyard and in the winery before being crushed and destemmed to an open top fermentation tank. The grapes were cold soaked for 5 days to extract the maximum amount of flavor, then inoculated and fermented on the skins for 15 days. After being gently pressed off the skins, the wine was moved to 30% new French oak and the remainder used oak barrels where it completed malolactic fermentation and was racked only once in the 26 months before being bottled.
2017 was a warm and dry vintage here in Sonoma County and while other areas did struggle with this, our dry-farmed Cabernet fared quite well. This vineyard sits at over 1800 feet in elevation and is only about 10 miles from the ocean, as the crow flies. This proximity to the coast allows for much more even grape growing year over year.