2008 Cliff Lede Lonely Wizard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rock Block Series, Stags Leap District, 3L
Dark in color, forest-floor aromas give way to Rainier cherry and humidor-like qualities of cedar and tobacco. The palate starts with allspice and leather traits that turn to Satsuma plum and gianduja. There is a savory component that would pair beautifully with grilled meats. Tannins are silky and expansive, lifting throughout the long finish.
Stags Leap District
The wine underwent eighteen months of élevage in 85% new French Oak.
The majority of this fruit was sourced from two distinctive blocks named “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Pinball Wizard” located on our estate. The soils and exposure of these two blocks demonstrate stark contrasts, which are reflected in the wine’s complex profile.
Grapes were picked in the darkness of the early morning hours, and immediately subjected to rigorous selection by our three-tiered hand-sorting system. The berries were gently delivered to tank by our distinctive crane system, minimizing disruption of berry integrity. Cold soaks lasted approximately five to eight days and fermentations were managed via a combination of délestage, punchdowns and pumpovers. Extended maceration from three to five weeks fine-tuned our tannin profiles.
The growing season started with low soil moisture due to an abbreviated rainy season that delivered sparse precipitation. Vintage 2008, like the previous year, would unfold under drought conditions. Spring and an early bud break were greeted by an extended cold spell through early May, resulting in delayed growth and multiple days of frost. Bloom time finally saw a warming trend, allowing berry development to progress rapidly under warm and clear summer days, with the fog absent until the onset of veraison. Ripening progressed slowly and evenly. Then, as summer gave way to fall, building temperatures led to an early harvest. On par with the low yields of 2007, the 2008 vintage relays balanced crop flavors and profound intensity.