Cabernet Sauvignon grapes came from 11 to 21 year old vines harvested from eleven vineyard blocks that each have their own identifiable qualities. The mountain vineyards are planted up to an elevation of 1800 feet, in the volcanic soil series Aiken Loam, Boomer Gravelly Loam and Perkins Gravelly Loam; all soils formed in material weathered from basalt and andesite. The vineyards are planted between 4 distinct Cabernet Sauvignon clones; 7, 337, 15, and See Selections provide for the complexity in aromas and concentration in flavors with firm tannins that bring balance to the mountain grown wine.
Temperatures throughout the winter remained mild. Rainfall returned to normal amounts for Napa Valley after three years of relatively dry years. Cooler than normal spring weather pushed bud break, flowering, and fruit set back by at least two weeks. There was minimal threat of spring frost in 2010 due to cloud cover on most evenings. The summer brought cooler than normal temperatures which delayed veraison (berry softening) by two weeks. Excellent weather conditions in September and October, together with warm day and cool night time temperature differences, allowed the grapes to ripen perfectly and the harvested crop was both abundant and of high quality.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape harvest began on October 13 and continued through the month. Each vineyard was tested daily to determine the optimum moment at which to harvest the grapes maximizing fruit flavor intensity and tannin ripeness. The grapes were harvested in the cool early morning hours and immediately taken to the estate winery where the clusters were destemmed, followed by individual berry selection. The grapes from every vineyard block were fermented individually. Fermentation and maceration took place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures over a period of 15-20 days.
The wine was then transferred to barrels, 40% New French oak, where malolactic fermenta¬tion was completed by the year’s end. After 15 months of aging, the best lots were selected and blended. Individual barrels were racked resulting in the final blend. Renzo Cotarella (Antinori Chief Enologist) and Nate Weis (Antica Winemaker) combined their individual expertise resulting in a wine of distinguishable Antica Napa Valley character.