The wine is not overly structured, instead it has beautiful balance between structure and softness. The vineyard always has a signature of black fruits and graphite, very full, yet light and mineral (“weight without heaviness”).
A single vineyard wine should have its own story to tell, a unique personality, and an innate balance and completeness. Of all of our Cabernet vineyards, the Dead Fred Vineyard fits this bill. Planted in 2001 by our dear friends Lisa Cort and David Goldman, we leased it in 2012 and started farming it ourselves, learning the site and using organic practices to bring out the best from the special soil. In 2014 we decided it was ready to be a single vineyard wine. To that end we selected four barrels from the wine lot (otherwise destined for our Napa Valley Cabernet) that we felt best described the terroir.
The Dead Fred Vineyard in Coombsville sits on a rocky volcanic knoll, with soil of gray volcanic ash and rylolite (compressed ash) rocks. Its south-western exposure causes it to pick up heat during the day, and the proximity to the mouth of the Napa Valley keeps the nights cool. This combination of volcanic soil, daytime heat, and nighttime cool creates fruit that is uncommonly structured and ripe, yet fresh and minerally.
The fruit was fermented at low temperatures in small, open-top tanks and punched down by hand one to three times per day, depending on how the wine tasted during the fermentation.
The wine was aged in 50% new French oak (Taransaud), and 50% older French oak barrels. The wine was given 20 months of elevage (aging in barrel).