Cabernet Sauvignon grapes came from vines up to 23-year-old vines harvested from fourteen vineyard blocks that each have their own identifiable qualities. The vineyards are planted up to 1,800 feet above the Napa Valley floor, 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 completed 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 early morning hours and immediately taken to the estate winery where the berries were removed from grape stem and placed onto the “Tommy” automatic grape sorting system before being placed in the stainless steel fermenting tank. As in every harvest, the many individual vineyard blocks were fermented on their own in order to maintain the distinctive characteristics of their grapes. The fermentation took place 10 – 14 days in temperature controlled tanks. After the new wine was removed from the skins, it was racked into primarily French oak barrels where it went through complete malolactic fermentation. When the barrel ageing period was completed after 16 months, the wine in each barrel was tasted and the necessary selections made. Individual barrels were racked resulting in the final blend. 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.