Galloni (Vinous) 95+
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is dense, powerful and explosive. Still very, very young, the 2015 has not budged much since I tasted it last year. Dark red cherry, plum, mocha, iron, new leather, pressed rose petal and spice all run through this deeply textured, explosive Cabernet Sauvignon. A wine of raw power and concentration, the 2015 possesses tremendous richness from start to finish. It is going to need a number of years to develop the full breadth of its aromatics, but it is super-expressive even in the early going.
- 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 7% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc
- Aged 20 months in 62% new French oak barrels
- Average of 1.3 tons per acre
- 63% selection for final blend
- Harvest Dates: September 15 – October 1, 2015
- Alcohol 14.4%
- Cases produced: 735
High up on Sprint Mountain, on the Sonoma County side of the mountain adjacent to the Napa AVA (same terroir) chock full of great vineyards and great wineries (Pride, Smith-Madrone, Pott's great Kaliholmanok vineyard, Lakoya, Barnett, and Stony Hill to name a few of my faves) there is still room for more great sites. Today's offer is one such new project that has been in the making for years and their 2014 and 2015 vintages.
The winemaking team is the same one behind the recent 100 point wine from Vine Hill Ranch. Having changed over a little while back, winemaker Françoise Peschon (former winemaker at Araujo Estate and consulting winemaker at Accendo and Vine Hill Ranch) was brought in to overhaul the prior winemaking team. Peschon brought with her Elizabeth Tangney (viticulturist and winemaker who worked formerly with winemaker Aaron Pott) and vineyard expert Phil Coturri, who created the plan to redevelop the property and convert the estate to organic farming.
Friends of mine in the wine business tipped me off to these guys and I am happy to know the wines are available in our market and wanted to offer them up to you!
Just over the peak of Spring Mountain on the Sonoma conty side of the Mayacama mountain range are 20 gorgeous acres of vineyards cultivated with meticulous care. Cornell Vineyards is perched between 1,600 and 1,900 feet, some of the highest vineyards in Sonoma that are nestled into their own set of rolling hills that descend from the peak of Spring Mountain. In the 1800s a stagecoach trail traversed through this site that once also had vines until phylloxera and prohibition put an end to grape cultivation here.
Purchased in 2000, the work started in 2001 to breathe life back into this site once called "Santa Rosa". The time to labeling their own wine for sale was because the team took their time to plant several different clones and grape varieties on the 20 separate 1-acre parcels that make up the vineyard to find the optimal vine material. The soils here are diverse, the terroir is a mix of prehistoric seabeds, alluvial volcanic rock, sandstone and loamy clay.
The vineyard makeup is as follows:
Cabernet Sauvignon (17 acres); Merlot (1 acre), Petit Verdot (1 acre); Malbec (one-half acre), and Cabernet Franc (one-half acre)
At this elevation, above the clouds and fog line, a generous microclimate is created with weather warm afternoons and cool, fog-free mornings, all the while with a steady cool breeze from the Pacific. Bud break and harvest are weeks later than the valley floor sites such as ToKalon, so you get longer hang time and better consistency and evenness in the ripening. With all of that said, Cornell picks at a lower brix so in some cases earlier than most wineries do.
The winemaking is overseen by Françoise Peschon - one of the most respected and sought-after winemaking consultants in Napa/Sonoma. Her signature is a light touch and a desire for finesse, balance and purity in the wines. But make no mistake about it, these are tried and true Napa wines, reflective of their terroir and climate. But, what they are not is overripe fruit bombs slathered in gobs of new oak.
Read more about the Cornell family and their wine story in the great article from the Napa Valley Register: LINK