Wing Canyon Vineyard
2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley: Mount Veeder
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s exceptional selection shows why the vaunted Mount Veeder region is so prized for delicious, elegant, Cabernet Sauvignon.
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Mission Codename: On the Wing
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Respond to reports of a small, premium Cabernet Sauvignon producer on the spectacular cool-climate Mount Veeder. Investigate their wines. If worthy of our exacting Operatives, secure an ample allocation.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Wing Canyon Vineyard
Wine Subject: 2007 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Bill Jenkins
Mt. Veeder, located on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas range has a climate that is cooler than the valley floor below. This climate and the more difficult (less fertile) volcanic mountain soil influence the flavors of the wines from this region. Best known for Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, Mt. Veeder vineyards produce grapes of exceptional character and intensity.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful ruby red, with prefect clarity through the slightly darker heart of the wine. After a soft swirl, the wine settles quickly, leaving behind tight clusters of slow-moving legs.
Smell – Blueberry! This lovely prime note is followed by black cherry, sweet spice, blackberry, red plum and dark strawberry. Softly toasty oak and a hint of chocolate cherry candy appear after the wine opens up.
Feel – Cool and light on entry, this very bright wine seems to light up the palate, driving an edgy acidity and plush tannins around the palate.
Taste – Spiced Bing Cherry candy and raspberry blaze the path for follow-on flavors of young strawberry, cocoa powder, blackberry, star anise and dusty bramble. Brown spice, black pepper and flinty minerals appear at the end.
Finish – Very long and flavorful with spiced cherry and red fruit that gradually give way to cocoa, anise, pepper, spice and flint.
Overall – This bright Cabernet is great, right out of the bottle, but our tasting panel found that once it has a chance to breathe, it really softens and opens up. Estate grown, produced and bottled at the winery’s Mount Veeder Estate, today’s 2007 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon is a great wine with wonderful aromatics, unique flavors and an ultra-long finish. Be sure to decant for best results. Pair with a hearty, flavorful red meat dish. Enjoy now, but be sure to cellar a few bottles. This gem should continue to improve for the next 10 years!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Bill Jenkins, winemaker
WINE EDUCATION: self taught
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: vineyard worker, cellar rat +25years @ Wing Canyon
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: wine is made in the vineyard
WINEMAKER QUOTE: oenogeeks love the story of the scrappy winemaker defying all odds to make handcrafted wine with character and personality that shows up the big corporations and their non-descriptor plonk.
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1991 was our first vintage, released in 1993
AGENT RED: Greetings, Bill. We are thrilled to be showing your 2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
BILL: no problem
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
BILL: more like a lucky decade of drinking old Bordeaux
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
BILL: Andre Tchelistcheff
RED: Who do you make wine for?
BILL: myself and my customers
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
BILL: From a very interesting split harvest. The merlot and 1/3 of the cab picked by 9-19-07, then a week of rain and hail, then the rest of the cab and cab franc picked 9-27 through 10-3-07. Canopy control was very good in 2007, so the rain interruption didn’t have any adverse effects. In fact by extending the harvest the weather
helped develop some extra nice ripeness.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
BILL: wild pheasant
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Mount Veeder so special?
BILL: Mount Veeder, cool climate approximating Bordeaux
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
BILL: deciding how much merlot and cab franc to blend with the 2009 Cab Sauv
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
BILL: with the expectation that attention and patience will be rewarded
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
BILL: you’ll be pleased if you save a few of these bottles for awhile
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Mt. Veeder Appellation in Napa can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Dark raspberries, cherries, and violets, a touch of candied citrus and spice supported by firm, supple tannins.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary wine made at Wing Canyon. We always blend the cabernet with varying amounts of estate Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The resulting wines are packed with flavors of dark red fruit (cherries, raspberries, plums and currants), hints of Mt. Veeder chaparral and spice with firm, ripe tannins.
About The Winery:
Wing Canyon Vineyard is a very small and remote bonded winery and steep hillside vineyard located near the top of Mt. Veeder. Access to the home and winery is a winding gravel road down a canyon, over a creek and through the redwoods.
BRIEF HISTORY: Wing Canyon has played a major role in the evolution of Mt. Veeder as a prominent wine-producing region. From vineyards to carp farm, popular resort to a camp for the blind Wing Canyon has been home to valley pioneers and visitors for over a century. Captain Stalhan Wing produced the first Mt Veeder wine, which he entered into the Napa County Fair in 1864. He was also known for his carp, thousands of which he raised in man-made ponds amongst the vineyards.
In 1983 we purchased 160 acres of mostly steep, wooded land above Wing Canyon on Mt. Veeder. By 1986 ten acres were cleared, terraced and planted with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and chardonnay. The vineyard has always been tended within the guidelines of organic, sustainable farming. Cover crops such as mustard, rose and crimson clovers provide home for many beneficial insects while improving soil quality. The vines are dry farmed which reduces yields but produces intense concentrated wines.
WINERY: The winery was completed in 1991, just in time for the harvest of our first vintage. We produced 380 cases that year! Fifteen vintages later, and we are still producing less than 1000 cases per year. The winery is a 20 by 37 foot rammed earth building with a large barn-slider on the porch side and matching arched redwood (wine tank wood) doors on either end. The 2 foot thick rammed earth walls help maintain the cool, even temperatures required for optimum barrel aging for the one hundred barrels stacked three high inside.
Adjacent to the winery is our residence, which serves as tasting room, office, and guesthouse, labeling area and storage facility.
Vineyard: 8 acres, west facing, 1/2 steep and 1/2 gentle slopes; 21 years average vine age
Farming: Unirrigated vines; 100% sustainable agricultural practices; all inputs within OMRI Guidelines
Harvest Dates: September 25 through October 20, 2007
Fermentation: Small open fermenters, punch down 2 per day
Yeast: Cepage Cabernet Noble/cab and franc, Cepage Merlot Noble/merlot; 16-day average fermentation, press off to barrel, Inoculate for malo-lactic fermentation (viniflora oenos/ Hansen CH16)
Barrels: 1/3 new French Chateau oak, 2/3 older French Chateau oak
Barrel Time: 30 Months
Blend: 75 % Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate; 10 % Cabernet Franc, Estate; 15 % Merlot, Estate
Alcohol: 15% by Vol.
Production: 432 cases