Neyers Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
The Neyers Vineyards in Conn Valley regularly give us a range of flavors and textures because of the soil and exposure variations within this 50 acre parcel. It rises from 400 feet elevation to over 1,000 feet elevation, and the soil changes from gravel-loam to rocky basalt. As fond as we are of this style, Tadeo and I were also interested in working with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown further to the south, especially in the cool temperature belt of southeastern Napa Valley near Oak Knoll Road.
In 2017, we arranged to purchase Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Ron Smith’s 25-year-old vines in this area, a mile or so south of the Stag’s Leap AVA. These are vines grown in conditions even cooler than Stag’s Leap, thus exaggerating the length of the growing season and extending the fruit hang time. We added to this wine about 5% Merlot grown on the Johnson Vineyard, an equally cool-weather parcel in nearby Coombsville. Adding an extra week or two to the normal ripening pattern gives us fruit of ideal physiological ripeness, grapes that make a wine both balanced and complex, a wine with an especially bright future. We ferment the wine using native, wild yeast, and allow for an extended maceration of up to 45 days that contributes further to the wine’s natural softness. After we drain and press the must, the wine is aged 20 months in 30% new 60-gallon French oak barrels, then bottled without fining or filtration. Our objective here is a finished wine that combines both charm and grace, with a long, satisfying finish. I am particularly fond of the cherry and chocolate flavors, that are highlighted by the subtle aroma of cedar.” —Bruce Neyers
Varietal Composition: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot