2007 RANCHO DEL OSO CABERNET SAUVIGNON

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VINEYARD

Even before I laid eyes on it, I had a feeling I’d like the Rancho Del Oso vineyard. First there’s the name – which means “ranch of the bear” in Spanish – referring to the red bear that likes to swim in the vineyard’s reservoir. Then there’s the owner, Betty O’Shaughnessy, a serious farmer who owns several properties in Napa Valley. Most importantly though is the site – high atop Howell Mountain at 1800 feet, with gentle slopes that keep the grapes in sunshine while surrounding them with cool mountain air. Every time I see this place, it takes my breath away. One of my favorite blocks in the northern part of the vineyard was the source of this wine, our 7th vintage from Rancho Del Oso.

 

VINTAGE

Napa Valley experienced a dry winter and warm, dry spring in 2007 which led to a relatively early budbreak. The fruit set was sparse and grapes were small, with a high skin to juice ratio. Even temperatures during the summer gave the grapes ample time for full phenolic development, and intense heat in August brought some vineyards to maturity. After Labor Day, however, temperatures cooled and harvest extended for several weeks through late October. Overall, it was a smaller crop of concentrated grapes with excellent natural acidity. Grapes for the 2007 Rancho Del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon were picked October 15th and 18th.

 

WINEMAKING

I find that if you pick fruit at just the right moment, when its tannins have reached the peak of ripeness, the winemaking almost takes care of itself. After crushing we fermented the juice in stainless steel tanks, then transferred the wine to small, 100% new French oak barrels – thin staved to allow a little oxygen into the wine – where it rested for two years. Before bottling we added a touch of Cabernet Franc, giving it a little more dimension and lengthening the finish

$110.00 Quantity: Add To Cart Update Cart  

 

WINEMAKER COMMENTS

“Full of power and grace, this wine leaps from the glass with ripe black fruit aromas – cherries, berries, plums – that dance across the palate at first sip. There’s a chocolate note to the wine as well, and the overall first impression is of maraschino cherries rolled in cocoa powder. Supple and juicy, the wine’s fine tannins and lively acidity provide structure. The Cabernet Franc, as well as oak-derived notes of spice and vanilla, add to the layered complexity and length of the wine.”

– Ed Sbragia

                                                                                                                 

Harvest:  October 15th and 18th, 2007

Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc

Suggested Retail: $75.00

Case Production: 1064

Alcohol: 14.8%   TA: .64   pH: 3.75   RS: .02