2011 Rattlesnake Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
Spring Mountain District
Harvest Date: November 1st, 2011
Grape Source: Terraces 40%, Rattlesnake Hill 13%, York Creek 17%, Crowley 30%, 100% Estate Fruit
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 23 months in French Oak Barrels, Mixed Coopers, Medium + toast oak, 90% new
Total Production: 855 Cases
Release Date: January 2014
Winemaker: David Tate
Vineyard & Vintage Notes: Rattlesnake Hill is a small rocky knoll on the estate, located at 2050 ft elevation on Spring Mountain. The hills position allows optimal sun exposure while being above the fog line. Since the inception of this wine in 1991 we have sought out only the very best of our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon on Spring Mountain to complement its complexity. We work diligently in the vineyard and the winery on keeping all our small lots separated. Then we examine these lots for the complexity, intensity and power to match the Hill Cabernet. Only these small estate lots that are deserving enough come together to form our proprietary top tier, Rattlesnake Hill. In 2011 we on the mountain did not feel the detrimental effects of a late October cold front that challenged the valley floor. With endurance we sat through the rains and achieved full ripeness from the following sun, however picking later than ever.
Winemaking Notes: The small estate lots when harvested were cold soaked for 2-3 days and fermented in small bins and tanks; punched down or pumped over 2 to 3 times a day. The maceration times were only 10 to 12 days since extraction was very quick, particularly in this cooler vintage. This tannin management halted the possibility of any austerity and maintains balance. Once fermentation was complete the wine was pressed off into 90% new French oak barrels for aging. The wine has been racked four times during its near two year maturation time in the cellar.
Tasting Notes: Intensely dark purple in color this vintage the wine is big and very concentrated. Aromas of raspberries and vanilla bean are complemented by dark chocolate and licorice. Layers of allspice, clove and cassis are also apparent. Upon tasting the wine is very viscous with darker fruit flavors to match the vanilla and pure black peppercorn emerges. The tannins are quite firm with great acidity to back it up. Although some bottle bouquet will begin to develop after ten years this is an ager, for those with patience this wine will progress gracefully for the next 20 years (2033).