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The 2004 Chabot Cabernet has the vineyard's distinctive flavors, layering blackberry, cassis, and ripe cherry, with hints of mint, cedar, licorice and cocoa in a plush mouth with refined tannins and warm brown spice on the finish.
- Winemaster, Ed Sbragia
Chabot Vineyard lies east of the Silverado Trail, just north of the road that leads up Howell Mountain to Bancroft Ranch and Steinhauer Ranch. The chunks of shiny obsidian heavily strewn through its soil reflect the locale, known as Glass Mountain. An underlying layer of pumice and bedrock ensures excellent drainage. The inky, highly structured, deeply flavored Cabernet from this vineyard was the first that Beringer Vineyards Winemaster Ed Sbragia elected to bottle as a Private Reserve, in 1977, and he has continued to bottle a small amount each year since as a single-vineyard Cabernet.
The 2004 vintage got off to a cool start and featured heavy rains towards the end of February, which transitioned into the warmest March on record with temperatures reaching the low 90's. The warm weather continued through May but summer months were cooler than normal. Eight to ten very warm days towards the end of summer helped push maturity. Winemaster Ed Sbragia and Winemaker Laurie Hook decided to harvest the majority of the fruit from early September through mid-October as each block reached the full-flavored maturity they were seeking.
With Cabernet of this quality, Ed and Laurie believe in taking a minimalist approach to winemaking. Vinifying the fruit from each vineyard separately, the winemaking team used tailored pump-over techniques for optimal extraction, and then aged the wines for approximately two years in handselected, custom-toasted barrels of new French Nevers oak from coopers with whom they have long-established relationships.