Somerston wines are selected from single blocks of our 1,615-acre estate, high in the eastern hills of Napa Valley. This estate bottled wine was sourced from our Deerhound vineyard, Block LXXII, with an average elevation of 900 feet above sea level. This vineyard grows on well-drained rocky soils referred to as a Los Gatos formation.
We began to hand pick the Cabernet Franc on October 3rd and deliver the fruit to the winery. The grapes were de-stemmed and sorted, then pumped into tanks for a 5-day cold soak at 50 degrees. When the fermentation began, we pumped the tank over twice per day. The native yeast fermentation lasted for 14 days. The free run was drained from the tank overnight. The wine was barreled down into 50% new French oak; the balance was put into once used French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally in the barrel. The wine was aged for 24 months and bottled.
The 2014 vintage was the third straight year of near perfect growing conditions. The long growing season had warm temperatures, mild heat spikes, and consistent weather throughout harvest. This vintage, we started harvesting our Cabernet Franc on October 3rd and completed on October 10th. The excellent conditions allowed the Cabernet Franc grapes to hang longer on the vine and develop more character.