2016 was another near-perfect vintage, on par, if not better, than 2013, yielding another crop of smaller-berried fruit that produced a intense wine, and should stand out for decades to come. Compared to last year, 2016 produced medium sized berries, which means a fantastic ratio of skins to juice, leading to higher levels of color and tannin. We had a few heat spikes in late July, and the weather was generally dry, warm even and consistent throughout the season. We picked the Cabernet under ideal conditions in September, and expect 2016 will turn out to be yet another new pinnacle for our Estate.
We hand sorted our grapes both prior to and after de-stemming, and following a four day whole berry maceration and cold soak, we began primary fermentation. After nearly three weeks, the wine was gently pressed-off and racked to 80% new Darnajou and Ermitagee 36 month-aged tight grain French Oak barrels to complete a slow secondary fermentation for another few months. As with all our cabernets, it will be bottle aged for around 24 months before its release.
94 – “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful, ripe and super-expressive. Red cherry jam, raspberry, wild flower and sweet spice all resonate in this lush, voluptuous St. Helena Cabernet. Plush, open-knit and seductive, the Pellet Cabernet Sauvignon is especially fine in 2016. Sweet floral notes reappear on the silky finish, adding lift and grace. What a pretty wine this is.” – Anthony Galloni, Vinous Media
93– “The deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard delivers gregarious notions of warm black plums, black cherries, violets and cassis with wafts of licorice and roses. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers a good intensity of crunchy, youthful black berries with a firm, grainy texture and fantastic length.” – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
92 – “This blend of cabernet, merlot and petit verdot has a strong hit of cola and baking spice-scented oak on the nose and blackberry and blackcurrant flavors, framed in gently grippy tannins. Riper style with plenty of oak. Drink or hold.” – James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com
92 - "I was able to taste two wines from Pellet Estate. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena checks in as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. It has a great, classic nose of red currants, leaf tobacco, lead pencil shavings, and new saddle leather. This medium to full-bodied effort has a light, elegant texture, sweet tannins, and plenty of length as well as old-school character. Drink it over the coming 15+ years.– Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com