The Vineyard: Mark Zukowski’s vineyard surrounds their house on the north west slope of Mount St Helena just as highway 128 begins its climb from Knights Valley over the mountain to Calistoga. This is one of our favorite spots for Cabernet. Knights Valley is in Sonoma County but it is well inland, sharing more weather similarities with Calistoga in Napa County than with its adjacent neighbors Chalk Hill and Alexander Valley. There is just a touch of cool damp Sonoma nights to give the wine made from these grapes extra layers of flavor unlike any other Cabernet.
The vintage: Harvest 2007 was an exceptional vintage with ideal weather conditions from the spring bloom to the fall harvest. The grapes ripened evenly without heat spikes, producing a perfect balance of fruit, acid and tannin,
resulting in fruit forward wines of moderate alcohol and extraction.
The winemaking: The grapes were hand picked early in the morning, and triple sorted at the winery, leaving only perfect berries in the open top stainless fermenter. Fermentation was allowed to begin on native yeast followed by pure strain inoculation. The Cabernet and Merlot were blended before the end of fermenation and given 20 days extended maceration.
95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot,
At bottling: Alcohol 14.1%, R.S. 0.01%
Bottled 150 cases, April 2011; Released February 2012.
Barrel aged: 41 months