2014 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon, Calistoga
The outstanding 2014 Calistoga deftly combines elegance and concentration. Notes of the gravel and rock terroir weave throughout the dulcet bouquet of summer black cherries and luscious cassis. Seductive aromas of violets, lavender, and warm black licorice add further complexity. Truffle salt, porcini mushroom, cardamom, and roasted marrow add a savory complexity to the upper register of the bouquet. While provocatively plush and suave already, this wine has plenty of supportive tannin which provides structure and ageability. – Christopher Tynan, Winemaker
Located at the base of Diamond Mountain in the western portion of the Calistoga appellation, our Calistoga estate vineyard has twenty acres of vineyard planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon. The gravelly loam soils are volcanic in origin with alluvial influence made evident by copious amounts of water-rolled gravel and large cobbles. While Calistoga can experience quite hot daytime temperatures, our estate is protected from the afternoon sun by Diamond Mountain to our west. Cool breezes from the Pacific are drawn in by the narrow gap between Napa and Sonoma Counties, further mediating the hot days. The result is powerful, rich Cabernet with balanced acidity.
Hand harvested in the cool dark of night, the fruit was brought to the winery and subjected to rigorous selection by our three-tiered sorting process, including our cutting edge optical sorter, with a goal of eliminating less-than-perfect berries. The selected fruit was gently delivered to tank via gravity by our crane system, retaining perfect, whole berries. Cold soaks lasted approximately five days, and fermentations were managed by a combination of délestage and pump overs. Extended maceration, ranging from three to four weeks, fine-tuned tannin profiles, allowing us to build structure and wine complexity. The wine was aged in French oak barrels, 50% of which were new, for twenty-one months.