The Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon was the third appellation wine to be introduced in our Cabernet series of very small bottlings dedicated to the benchland sub-appellations of Napa Valley. This bottling marks the eighth vintage of the Oakville Cabernet and celebrates Etude’s long-term relationship with one of the most highly regarded winegrowers in Napa Valley.
"This really evolves nicely in the glass, moving from crushed black fruit and sweet tobacco to violets. The palate is medium-to full-bodied with soft, fine tannins and a pretty finish. Hints of wood at the end. Luscious is a good word here. Needs two or three years to come together, but already delicious. ” - James Suckling
“Textbook Oakville Cabernet, with a swath of loam, warmed cassis and plum reduction flavors carried by dense yet pliant structure, all while notes of menthol and sweet bay leaf flash throughout. Very solidly built for the vintage. Best from 2022 through 2034. 232 cases made. ” - James Molesworth , August 2021
“Etude's 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville) emerges from Blocks 1 and 3 at Vine Hill Ranch. A dark, brooding wine, the Oakville Cabernet is packed with dark red cherry, plum, gravel, spice and licorice. This bold, punchy wine is going to need time in the cellar, as the tannins are a bit imposing at this early stage.” - Antonio Galloni, March 2021
Fresh and expressive, showing remarkable depth and complexity, tributes of the cooler western bench of Oakville. Intense notes of dark black cherry, brambly blackberry, red currant, black plum, dark chocolate and cassis are supported by more savory, earthy notes of dried lavender, black olive tapenade, graphite and black licorice. Exceptionally concentrated, generous and balanced with firm, present tannins that are well-integrated with the oak spice, leading to a long lingering savory finish. A beautiful rusticity to this vintage, this Cabernet is full-bodied with tremendous structure that will continue to open and evolve in complexity over many years to come.
Overall, 2017 proved to be a slightly smaller yielding vintage but one of exceptional quality. A brief period of warm weather occurred during Labor Day weekend which accelerated the harvest in some areas. Temperatures subsided just when we needed and the fruit was allowed to mature and ripen perfectly on the vines before harvest officially began. Overall, a quick and intense harvest, with althea fruit picked within two to three weeks, but the quality of the vintage shows great flavor intensity, perfect ripening and maturity, lovely balance and complexity.
Grapes were sourced exclusively from Block Three of the Vine Hill Ranch, planted to Clone 337, nestled along the hills of the Mayacamas Mountain Range at the south end of the Oakville AVA. The Phillips family has carefully managed this alluvial benchland vineyard with cobbly soils for three generations, home to some of the most expressive and concentrated Cabernet grapes in the Napa Valley. Michael Wolf, who has watched over Vine Hill for nearly two decades, makes certain the vineyard is healthy and offering its ultimate expression for Cabernet Sauvignon.
The grapes were cold soaked for 3-5 days and fermented on their skins in open top fermenters. 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 – using a selection of coopers and forests to accentuate the vineyard distinctions – where it aged for 20 months in 100% French Oak (75% new). Each lot was kept separate until final blending. The resulting wine was returned to barrel for an additional nine months of aging.
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.
|Oak Treatment||100% French oak barrels (75% new) for 20 months|
|Blend||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|