The Embankment Vineyard lies at the junction of Oakville Cross Rd. and Route 29. Oakville isn’t too hot; it isn’t too cold. It’s just right. The coolness of the south meets up-valley warmth in perfect equilibrium. That’s why Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville so perfectly expresses the essential qualities of the varietal in deep, complex wines that can last for decades.
It felt more like a normal year in Napa Valley in 2017. After years of drought, the water table was still in good shape after 2016. Bud break came a bit early despite a cool spring. A very mild summer followed and ripening was slow and steady. However, we did receive two heat spikes in the vintage which pushed things along nicely. The clusters filled out with berries growing more normal in size. The hang time was longer than normal and so better for tannin and flavor development without a run-up in sugar. Once we started picking though, the season was very compressed. The yields were down just a bit but the flavors and concentrations were fantastic.
Beautiful aromatics of blackberry, Bing cherry, and juicy red fruit mingle with complex nuances of licorice and cassis. On the mouth, hints of lightly toasted oak pair with violets, mixed berry, and creamy mocha. This Cabernet Sauvignon is approachable and delicious now.