Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from the 24-acre Townsend Vineyard, planted at an elevation of 1,460 feet in the volcanic soil series Perkins Gravelly Loam. Vine density is 2,233 vines per acre and divided between four distinct Cabernet Sauvignon clones which contribute to the wine’s complexity in flavors, and rich, concentrated fruit.
Flooding kicked off the New Year in Napa Valley while seasonal amounts of rain continued into spring. Budbreak was delayed by a few weeks, but by June the weather improved and vines began to bloom and set fruit. In mid-July, a 10-day record-setting heat wave helped the vines reach normal development for a typical growing season. Sufficient soil moisture from heavy winter rains allowed vines to survive the extreme heat. Seasonal, somewhat cooler weather returned in August. Cool weather dominated early October allowing the fruit to ripen slowly, maximizing flavor intensity and complete maturation in the fruit.
The harvest took place October 7-27 with the average yield of 3.3 pounds of fruit per vine. Grapes were hand-harvested during the cool morning hours from thirteen zones with higher elevations picked first. Grapes were de-stemmed, lightly crushed and placed in the fermenter where the must rested overnight before the yeast was added. During the 10-day fermentation, gentle pumpovers allowed polyphenolic components to be extracted giving a rich character to the young wine.
The wine was racked into new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation which was completed by December. Lots were racked to remove any solids and returned to barrel for additional aging. After 12 months, each lot was tasted and a selection was made for the final blend. The wine was bottled in late spring of 2008 and allowed to age an additional 12 months. Antinori chief enologist, Renzo Cotarella, oversaw the production of this wine.