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2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
The Big Shot Vineyard, named for John Fetzer's brother, Joe Fetzer, is located on a hillside overlooking Saracina Ranch. Ruggedly terraced on a steep, southeast facing slope, it makes a bold statement. Positioned to avoid the late afternoon sun, the vines preserve their Bordeaux varietal character by allowing the requisite hang-time that an outstanding Cabernet requires.
The harvest of 2015 reflects the last of the drought years, with the lowest berry and cluster weights we have ever recorded at this block, but with intensely flavored fruit. We harvested at dawn on September 25, 2015, with an average of 25.2 brix, but only after John's brother Joe gave us the call to pick. He called it perfectly. The grapes were destemmed into an open top fermenter, and native yeast fermentation began six days later. We punched down by hand, and at dryness drained the free-run juice directly into French Taransaud barrels, 15% of which were new. Native malolactic fermentation was complete by late February. The wine remained in barrel for 20 months.
Deep garnet in color, this wine has aromas of black fruits, cedar, and sage, which complement the dusty herb and earth flavors in this poised, elegant vintage of our Cabernet. There is plenty of soft tannin and acidity, but this wine will easily drink well in its relative youth.