The Etude St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon is a very small bottling from the Schoenstein Vineyard in St. Helena AVA, Napa Valley, where the pronounced alluvial fan produces rich and smooth cabernet sauvignon.
"'This is the real deal with lead pencil and oyster shell. Currant undertones. Full body and fine tannins. Flavorful and intense. A beauty. A shame it's the last vintage! Drink now or hold.''" - James Suckling
The 2013 vintage began with a warm, dry spring that brought early bud break and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set. With no surprises throughout the growing season, temperatures were consistently favorable and even, resulting in notably healthy vines as fruit went through veraison and started ripening. The overall dry season made for a short harvest - one of the earliest and most condensed of recent memory.
Located in the upper Napa Valley, the Schoenstein Vineyard, owned by Margaret Schoenstein and her family, serves as the single vineyard for this wine. The vineyard sits on a pronounced alluvial fan along the Mill Creek on the north end of the St. Helena appellation. This bottling comes from a four acre vineyard of older vines where Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grow adjacent to one another.
Etude's philosophy remains steadfast and this appellation Cabernet Sauvignon was crafted with very minimal winemaking intervention. The grapes were cold soaked for 3-5 days, and an extended maceration period followed fermentation to help modify the depth and mouthfeel of the wine, and to fully extract color, flavor and aromatics. The young wine was then racked into small French oak barrels where it aged for 22 months.
For more than a decade Jon has fashioned Etude wines with a simple creed. Inspired winegrowing diminishes the need for a winemaker to intervene in the cellar. Whether sourcing from the estate Grace Benoist Ranch in Sonoma's Los Carneros, or vineyards like Fiddlestix and North Canyon in famed growing regions of California's Central Coast, his focus is on coaxing the very best from the vineyard. It shows in every glass of Etude.