2010 in Napa Valley was yet another season in paradise. Early rains brought our vines to budbreak right on schedule, followed by cooler than average temperatures thru most of summer. Careful crop and canopy management protected our grapes from the late summer heat spike, and when cooler temperatures returned in late September, the extended hang-time gave our clusters concentrated flavors, dark colors, and an incredible perfume of ripeness. This vintage was harvested under ideal conditions and we consider it outstanding.
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 36 month aged tight grain French Oak barrels to complete a slow secondary fermentation for another few weeks. After 20 months in barrel, we blended the final wine at the beginning of June and returned the wine to barrel for an additional two months to allow the flavors and components of the individual varietals to marry.
91 - "Dark and lush with notes of coffee and spice; ripe blackberry, cassis and plum; bright, elegant and charming with balance and style; long and impressive." – Anthony Dias Blue, The SOMM Journal, The TASTING PANEL, Blue Lifestyle
90 - "The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Pellet Vineyard offers attractive charcoal and cassis flavors, a pleasant floral characteristic, medium to full body and impressive richness as well as depth. It should drink well for 7-10 years." – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
93 - "An inaugural release from veteran winemaker Nils Venge, this wine contains small amounts of Merlot and Petit Verdot. It's very dry, quite tannic and rich, with flavors of black cherries, currants and new oak, with an earthy note that adds to the complexity. The mouth-feel is warm and almost Port-like." – Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast / SH