The estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards are planted up to an elevation of 1800 feet, allowing excellent air movement in the well-drained, volcanic soils. The grapes came from up to 23-year-old vines from 14 vineyard blocks that each have their own identifiable qualities. The vineyards are planted in the volcanic soil series Boomer Gravelly Loam, Perkins Gravelly Loam and Aiken Loam – all soils formed in material weathered from basalt and andesite. The vineyards are planted between various distinct Cabernet Sauvignon clones providing further complexity in aromatics and flavors.
Winter temperatures were mild with average rainfall allowing the vines to quietly rest during the dormancy period. The weather during budbreak and flowering were ideal, leading to an excellent fruit set with berry uniformity within each cluster. Summer and fall brought warm temperatures, but with no heat waves. The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit enjoyed a long, slow ripening period through September and into October. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes ripened fully providing wines with dark color, rich varietal purity, and age worthiness.
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape harvest began on September 19 and ended on October 21. Each vineyard was tested daily to determine the optimum moment at which to harvest the grapes maximizing fruit flavor intensity. The grapes were harvested in the cool morning hours and immediately taken to the estate winery where the berries were removed from the grape stem and placed onto the “Tommy” automatic grape sorting system before going into stainless steel tanks. 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 10-14 days. After the new wine was removed from the skins, it was racked into primarily French oak barrels where it went through complete malolactic fermentation. After 16 months of aging, the best lots were selected, blended and bottled on the estate. Melissa Apter (Antica Associate Winemaker) and Renzo Cotarella (Antinori Chief Enologist) combined their individual winemaking expertise resulting in a wine of distinguishable Antica Napa Valley character.