Maitre de Chai Cabernet Sauvignon
Our second vintage of this incredible 53 year old Cabernet Sauvignon from Carmel Valley. The 2019 vintage was another opportunity for us to keep pulling at the string of making Cabernet in a “pre-Prohibition” style.
The Massa Vineyard -- formerly known as Heller Estate -- was planted by the Durney family in 1969 and is situated at 1,500 feet above the Cachagua region of Carmel Valley. The conversion to organic viticulture began in the 1980s, and the vineyard has been farmed Certified Organic since 1996. The vines we source from are own rooted and dry farmed in a combination of sandy loam and granitic soils.
For starters, we were really looking to pick this vineyard when we thought it was “al dente”, just like draining your pasta when it still has a nice hearty bite to it. We hand-shoveled the fruit through our little destemmer into open top bins, not once stopping to pull out any stems that made their way in. Fermented outside in the sunshine in their little ¾ ton bins. The wine received a small punchdown each day, and after fermentation aged in neutral oak barrels for fifteen months.
This is a suave Cabernet, at 13.3% alcohol. Pomegranate molasses, Lydecker plum and pasilla pepper on the nose. The tannins are shockingly fine for cool-fermented mountain Cabernet, bolstered by bright currant and nectarine pit on the palate. Drink alongside BBQ with a slight chill all summer long, or put it down for 5-10 years. Either way, this is an elegant Cabernet of yesteryear.
Twenty barrels produced.