2016 Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Star Lane Vineyard
VINTAGE As with recent vintages prior, another dry winter and warm spring led to an early start to the growing season. Spring and early summer remained warm but overall the season was even and moderate in temperature throughout. As we moved into ripening season in September, temperatures began to rise. A few heat spells in late September consolidated harvest timing and grapes arrived in a hurry. Quality proved excellent. Generous wines emerged, with signature Happy Canyon qualities of fresh herbs and blue fruits.
WINEMAKER NOTES 2016 was a straightforward vintage with moderate yields and a good pace to ripening. As September ended, we did see a series of heat spells that condensed our harvest by accelerating ripening. The resulting wines were superb. Their extra generosity led to shorter amount of time on skins to ensure structure did not become overwhelming. We utilized less new oak than 2015 because the fruit had a sweetness and depth that did not seem to benefit from extra oak. The final wine is a blend of 20 different lots of Cabernet Sauvignon which make up 87% of the blend along with 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc.
TASTING NOTES 2016 has classic Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon aromas of blue and red fruits, accented with fresh herbs (sage) and floral qualities. The real difference is observed in the mouth feel. Unlike 2015 where Cabernet struggled to have the girth and roundness we’ve become accustomed to, 2016’s generous fruit profile and richer textures almost needed restraint. The texture allows the wine to be enjoyed quite young, however time will certainly reward those who wait as complexity increases aromatically.