Each vintage of Founder’s Art begins with a tasting and assessment of every Bordeaux varietal barrel at Judd’s Hill. Every year there are barrels that, when tasted, rise to the top of the list. For the 2013 vintage four sub-appellations, Rutherford, Oakville, Pope Valley, and the Oro Puro vineyard, contributed to this magnificent wine. The various climates and soil types provide a combination that gives Judd’s Hill Founders Art Cabernet Sauvignon its unique and dynamic flavor profile. A year of temperate weather and steady ripening resulted in above-average yields and excellent quality wine grapes. A warm, dry spring brought early bud break, which helped with canopy vigor and berry size, and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set. With the exception of one heat spike beginning in late June, temperatures were consistently in the zone for optimal vine activity. The result was notably healthy vines from veraison through harvest.
Each lot was vinified and aged in new and used oak barrels separately until ready to blend. After picking the best barrels from each of these lots, we assembled the final blend, which was returned to oak for another 6 months before bottling.
Food pairing is one pleasurable way to reduce the expression of tannin of any bold wine. For our 2013 Founders Art, salt and citric acid tastes in food will bring the fruit forward and create a soft feel on the palate. The salt can be added in almost infinite ways. For example, blue cheese can be used with a protein, such as beef, to provide the salt in order to soften the tannin and bring forward the beautiful fruit. Step out of the box and coat your seafood with lemon or lime and you will have the same results.