50% Mendocino County, 30% Pope Valley, 20% Clarksburg
This Cabernet Sauvignon comes from three growing regions in Northern California: Mendocino County, Pope Valley, and Clarksburg. Mendocino County is ideal for growing Bordeaux varietals, with warm days and chilly nights that allow for a longer growing season and hang-time, resulting in more concentrated berries, which lend this Cabernet its intense color and finesse. Pope Valley – part of the Napa Valley Appellation and a few miles to the northeast of Rutherford and St. Helena – is at a higher elevation with great hot-cold temperature exchanges, providing grapes with structure, weight, and elegance. Clarksburg fruit imparts perfume true to varietal character and gives this wine beautiful aromatics. The fruit from these three growing regions combine to harmonize in this textbook Cabernet Sauvignon.
VINEYARD AND CANOPY MANAGEMENT
In Pope Valley and particularly in Clarksburg, considerable leafing was required on both sides of the vine due to vigorous canopy growth. This is to facilitate greater air flow and filtered sunlight for riper and healthier fruit. Clarksburg – Moderate leafing at bunch closure to allow filtered sunlight. We work with cool-climate, dry farmed vineyards that are hand harvested and managed with organic or sustainable practices.
Mendocino – 19 years; Pope Valley – 26 years; Clarksburg – 13 years
Mendocino – 3 tons per acre; Pope Valley – 4 tons per acre; Clarksburg – 5 tons per acre
VINE TRELLISING SYSTEM
Mendocino – “Lyre” trellising to promote split canopy for mixed more filtered sunlight. Pope Valley – Bilateral cordon; unusual but necessary in 2012. Clarksburg – Quadrilateral cordon to contain vine vigor.
A warm spring with very few frost days. Very good bloom with little shatter. Consistent warm weather continued through the summer in all three regions, with no serious heat spikes, so often damaging to fruit development. Warm and dry conditions persisted through early October, after which there were short periods of modest precipitation, particularly in Mendocino, but which did not affect the quality of the thick-skinned Cabernet Sauvignon. Sugars were excellent, acidities on the low side. A relatively large crop in Pope Valley and Clarksburg; Mendocino produced less due to small/light bunches.
Alcohol: 13.0% – refreshingly balanced in today’s world of high-alcohol wines.
VA: 0.059 TA: 0.55 pH: 3.61 RS: 0.18
Light crushing, just breaking the skin of the berry to allow for greater fruitiness in fermentation. Light pressing to avoid green tannins. Closed stainless steel fermentation, minimizing oxygen exposure and emphasizing fruitiness. 35% of the wine is drawn off to finish fermentation in oak to enrich the mouth-feel and gain greater fruit/oak cohesion. The wine is aged for about another nine months in new, one and two year old French oak barrels with medium-toast.
This textbook Cabernet Sauvignon has a moderate alcohol of just 13%. The result? A delicious wine with plenty of blackberry and red currant flavors, deep color and moderate to firm tannins.
ABOUT LAELY HERON & HERON WINES
An unconventional childhood – living in mining towns on four continents – fostered Laely’s love of travel, adventure and a desire to explore and to experience the cultures, foods, and wines of the world. Wanderlust and curiosity have led her on many paths including studying winemaking in Bordeaux, opening a restaurant and importing wine in Denmark, and pursuing Master of Wine studies.
With this love of wine and an entrepreneurial spirit, she started Heron Wines in 1994 with little more than a credit card, a "business plan" sketched out on a napkin, and an idea to make great and affordable wine. When she started Heron Wines, it was unusual for an American woman to be making her own wine in France. Now Heron Wines is making wine in three countries. From the beginning, the goal has been simple: for each wine, find the best vineyards and the best regions wherever in the world they may be.
Even today, Laely continues her global exploration to make distinctive and delicious wines from the best places on earth.