1999 Cabernet Sauvignon
Widely praised for its big, bold zinfandels, Sonoma County also produces outstanding Bordeaux varietals from warmer locations such as Dry Creek Valley.
Lencioni Vineyard is situated on the eastern bench of Dry Creek Valley at 400 feet of elevation. The property overlooks the Lytton Springs area to the east and the middle portion of Dry Creek Valley to the west. Angelo Lencioni established the vineyards in 1898 with over 100 acres of zinfandel. It was partially replanted to four acres of cabernet sauvignon in 1988.
The warm, dry Mediterranean climate of Dry Creek Valley is ideal for cabernet sauvignon. Vines at this hilltop location are fully exposed to long sunny days for much of the growing season. The extended sunlight encourages grapes to achieve optimum ripeness while the cool nights build essential acids. Fruit slowly develops deeply tinted skins with intense flavors and soft tannins. Prevailing dry westerly winds minimize potential threats from frost and mildew. Annual rainfall is 40 inches while fog is minimal.
Cabernet clone #7 was planted on St. George rootstock and later trained on vertical two-wire trellising. "This clone gives rise to deep blackberry and cassis flavors," says grower Fred Ginn, "while the unfailing St. George rootstock maintains a well-balanced, low-vigor vine."
Soils mostly consist of a rocky bronze-red clay-loam. They are relatively lean and provide excellent drainage. This terroir the overall effect of climate, geology, topography and vines produces small berries with complex, concentrated characteristics.
The winter preceding the ‘99 growing season was cold and average in precipitation. Mild spring weather contributed to normal budbreak, berry set and veraison. Temperatures were below average in mid-summer, but increased with the approach of autumn. This progression prompted slow maturation and a well-timed harvest of clean, flavorful fruit.
This wine casts aromas and flavors of blackberry, cassis and lightly toasted oak. As is typical of the vineyard, all are complimented by hints of brush and chocolate. The tannins are well integrated and compliment the intense fruit. Nicely balanced, it finishes long and clean with flavors of berry and a touch of vanilla. Serve with bleu cheese, steaks and roasts, or chocolate desserts. Aging potential: 8
Winemaker Bruce Snyder