In 2005, winter rains took pause for a dry, mild March, resulting in an early bud break. April began again with record-setting precipitation late into the growing season delaying bloom and set. The summer months were cool and pleasant with few heat spikes. Fog and cool temperatures were a concern heading into September, as sugar levels were yet to rise in all varieties. Warm, nearly perfect conditions arrived with an Indian summer providing us with excellent sugar development and balanced acids. Extended hang times resulted in one of our latest harvests to date.
Terra Valentine is blessed with two estate vineyards that capture the best of Spring Mountain - The Wurtele Vineyard and the Yverdon Vineyard. They are distinguished by a diversity of mountain terrain and vines that are well-adapted to the environment. While the mountain sites present challenges - including accessibility, diversity of soils, ripening, and hand labor - they reward the effort in wine filled with intense flavor and color. Each vineyard, with a unique set of soils, exposures, and micro-climates, produces a wine of distinction and personality reflecting the terroir of the estate. Our Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of both the Wurtele and Yverdon Vineyard Estates.
Our 2005 Spring Mountain District was picked from 14 different vineyard blocks over a period of 38 days in September/October. We used 81% Cabernet Sauvignon from our Wurtele Vineyard Estate, 14% Cabernet from our more recently planted Yverdon Vineyard Estate, 3% Merlot from Yverdon and 2% Cabernet Franc. The wine was fermented during an 18-day period with punch downs twice daily. We aged it for 20 months in French oak barrels, 33% of which were new.
The nose opens with deep plum, violets, cedar and bittersweet chocolate. Bright cola berry follows with notes of caramel and dried fig and a lingering, dark cocoa finish.