2014 Bell Cabernet Sauvignon, Longtable Vineyard, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley
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2014 Bell Cabernet Sauvignon, Longtable Vineyard
For the third year in a row, Napa Valley experienced an exceptional vintage and near drought conditions. Though the drought continued to concern us throughout the growing season, between 11 and 17 inches of rain fell in the critical months of February and March, coming at the right time to provide the necessary water needed for a fairly smooth growing season. The warm winter resulted in an early bud break. July’s relatively low temperatures were coupled with high humidity during the summer, heightening rot and mildew concerns. The relatively cool summer slowed down sugar accumulation to achieve perfect ripeness at lower sugar levels. The growing season provided numerous challenges – our third consecutive drought year, the South Napa earthquake in August, and late season hail. Our harvest started about two weeks early, the earliest since 2004, with vines yielding loose clusters of small, intensely flavored berries. The resulting wines have deep color, rich fruit flavors and a wonderful, supple texture on the palate.
Longtable Vineyard, located on the coveted rugged terrain of Mt. Veeder, is proving to be one of the latest premium vineyards to be planted to on that mountain range, and is producing less than two tons of grapes per acre. A dark and brooding wine is evident on the approach. Tightly constructed, a decanting would be helpful on this powerhouse. Upon opening up, dark berries showcase themselves with hints of granite, lavender and a sweet, savory compote. A well-proportioned tannin structure and medium acidity balance wonderfully with the pure black fruits and chocolate covered cherries that evolve to a beautiful earthiness on the long finish. This wine will continue to develop with aging.
Varietal Cabernet sauvignon (100%), Clones 169 & 31
Source Longtable Vineyard, Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley
Harvest Date September 13, 2014
Harvest Sugar 26.2 Brix
Harvest Acid 0.39 gm/100ml
Harvest pH 3.74
Total Acid 0.63 gm/100ml
Aging 19 months in 100% French Oak, 100% New
Bottle Date June 2016
Production 96 cases
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