With every growing season, winemaker Christopher Carpenter evaluates the quality of all our mountain vineyard sites and chooses the brightest star to guide the blend of our Cabernet Franc.
He takes a similar approach in determining the dominant grape variety for the Proprietary Red; keeping its varietal composition fluid allows every vintage to shine at its best, and open a unique new perspective on our mountain terroir.
The 2018 vintage had late winter rains then a spring marked with intermittent cloudy skies likely delayed bud-break and flowering, which was then followed by ideal fruit set conditions, driving up overall volumes by 20-30%. Steady summer heat accumulation with only a couple of short hike spikes combined with a near perfect fall season created great phenolic accumulation without high sugar concentration.
The 2017 growing season began with a much-welcomed wet spring followed by a temperate summer. A mid-September heatwave was succeeded by a cooling period which lengthened hang-times leading to optimal fruit ripeness. The second week of October experienced strong winds which, combined with high temperatures and dry conditions, brought disaster in the form of wildfires. With great fortune, the entirety of the fruit for this wine was harvested before this devastating event.
The 2016 vintage began with a prolific spring that brought an ample amount of rain which helped replenish the soils. A steady growing period followed and showed no major heat spikes, allowing for perfect ripening throughout the season. An early finish to harvest laid the groundwork with an even, generous crop that showed a promising future during this exceptional vintage.
The 2015 vintage was marked by a steady spring that did not see a huge amount of rain or temperature fluctuations. Warmer temperatures continued through the growing season and into late summer. These conditions caused the vineyards to bear less fruit and resulted in grapes that were small, concentrated and packed with immense flavor intensity.