The 2011 Branding Iron Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has the aromas of wild berry and forest that distinguish this vineyard, even in a cooler year. Earth and sage complement the fruit and give a depth of flavor on the midpalate. The spicy oak and vanilla components add complexity, while the gentle tannins from this vintage are approachable now.
Clay loam soil from Branding Iron Vineyard
Oakville, Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon clone 7 on the 3309C rootstock
Vertical shoot positioning (VSP)
This vineyard is planted on a large alluvial fan that extends from the Mayacamas Mountains, across the Branding Iron Vineyard, into Harris Vineyard, and reaches all the way to the western edge of the Rock Cairn Vineyard. The vineyard is composed of well-drained clay loam from the Perkins soil series that is formed from alluvial fans depositing eroded igneous rock.
Named for the branding iron owned by the proprietor, the eight-acre Branding Iron Vineyard lies in western Oakville close to the base of the Mayacamas Mountains. The vineyard is comprised of well-drained clay loam and the vines are vertically trellised to maximize sunlight and open the canopy. The area’s warm climate and sun exposure in both the morning and afternoon are perfect for slowly ripening the fruit, which often benefits from a long hang time.
October 21 – 22, 2011
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
18 months in French oak
In 2011, cloud cover in the winter and early spring delayed the year’s growing season, but above average rainfall filled the reservoirs. Bloom this year occurred in June, which is the latest on record. A cool summer, without any real heat spikes, offered a slow ripening period, and the fruit looked balanced on the vines. Without the extra heat, sugar levels remained low and we harvested this vineyard on the exact dates as the 2010 vintage, toward the end of October.