This Cabernet is set each vintage as a Bordeaux blend, with soft and silky tannins and a plush, full mouth-feel setting it up for immediate enjoyment, although it’s built to age and develop further complexity. Aromas of dried herbs, cedar, clove and lavender join flavors of dark red fruit led by figs, black cherry, currants, boysenberry, huckleberry, raspberr, and evident oak spice are joined with more traditional Knights Valley tones of black olive, wild sage and mocha chocolate. Fine acidity and balance with an elegant structure lead to a lingering, memorable finish.
Located 17 miles northwest of the winery, Knights Valley vineyard is approximately 600 acres, and has rocky, well-drained soils that are perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
The 2017 vintage provided high quality thanks to lower than average yields. The year began with abundant rainfall. Spring weather was mild, resulting in extended flowering in some areas with little shatter. Vines were vigorous thanks to the winter rains. A freak hail storm passed through quickly in June causing isolated damage. Three heat events, including one over Labor Day weekend, kicked harvest into high gear, dehydrating some grapes by early September. Cool weather arrived immediately afterward, allowing sugar levels to return to normal. Most late-ripening red grapes continued to hang on the vine and were picked throughout October.
To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, each is monitored carefully through the vinification and aging process. Extended maceration created larger tannins to enhance the lush mouthfeel of the blend and extracted a maximum of color, aromas and flavors. The wines were then aged in French oak barrels (27% new) for 20 months and underwent malolactic fermentation for further development of texture and mouthfeel.