The vines that create Cabernet Sauvignon are over 60 years old and impart incredible concentration and complexity to the wines. The color is inky dark purple and it exhibits aromas of forest fruits, cigar box and leather. The palate is met with flavors of toasty vanilla, baking spices, black pepper and graphite. The textures are bright, juicy and vibrant on the mid-palate and it has well-structured tannins that are integrated early and will age for many years to come.
The 2011 growing season was one of the most interesting and arduous in Napa Valley in many years. Winter brought a welcomed amount of precipitation to fill our reservoirs and set us up for a bountiful year. However, what normally presents as a pleasant spring of April showers and May flowers was pushed back a few weeks so that June showers lead to less Cabernet flowers than usual. This resulted in fewer berries developing on each cluster and a lighter crop load overall. The mild and cool weather continued through the summer, leading to slow and even ripening of the fruit. This also resulted in long hang times for clusters which develop complex flavors and silky textures that winemakers enjoy. Due to the ideal location of Varozza Vineyards on the valley floor of St. Helena, the grapes had ripened to perfection by the beginning of October. We were able to harvest all of our Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah before the rain showers began and gave many other winemakers a number of sleepless nights. While a slightly smaller crop than usual, the character of the 2011s is evident now in their great balance and vibrancy combined with the benefit that they have enough life to cellar very well for a couple of decades.