93 Points, James Suckling
"This is very linear and tight with a
focused and deep fruit character
that is buttressed by the fine
tannins. Full body, intense and
powerful. Serious. Needs a year or
two to soften."
Winemaker's Tasting Note
Exuberant and rich, the 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet exhibits nuanced dark, brooding fruits of blackberry, black cherry and black raspberry. A light, fresh acidity highlights undertones of fine structure and complexity. A quintessential depiction of Napa Valley Cabernet, this vintage shepherds in a solid depth, complete with a weighty and elegant finish.
About The Vintage
Despite drought conditions, the 2014 vintage proved to be ideal, with excellent quality reminiscent of 2012. The winter was one of the driest on record in California, but substantial rains in early spring were timely and set up the vines for a strong start. Summer temperatures were milder than expected with no extremes, and after early bud break and veraison, harvest was unusually early in 2014. The overall dry season made for a short harvest and was ideal for producing concentrated and balanced Cabernet Sauvignons.
The Etude Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is handcrafted with grapes from unique benchland vineyards representing the major sub-appellations of Napa Valley. The 2014 Cabernet was sourced with fruit from some of the most highly regarded winegrowers in Napa Valley -- Vine Hill Ranch in Oakville, Morisoli Vineyards in Rutherford, and Meteor Vineyard in Coombsville. By deliberately sourcing fruit from this group of exemplary vineyards, the assembled wine exhibits the range of Cabernet fruit flavors and textures with vitality and finesse.
Etude’s philosophy remains steadfast and this Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was crafted with very minimal winemaking intervention. 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 11 months. In order to maintain the unique characteristics of each vineyard, each block and lot was kept separate until this point when the assemblage was blended. The resulting wine was returned to barrel for an additional 9 months of aging.