The Assassin 2008

Ink Grade Vineyard, Howell Mountain
Napa Valley, California
900 bottles produced

Vineyard Notes:

Ink Grade is located east of Calistoga, atop the Vaca Range on the East side of Howell Mountain. The high elevation causes cooler daytime temperatures and slightly warmer evening temperatures than those of the valley floor. The 200 acre site was planted in 1990 and utilizes a quad trellis system. The soil consists of rich red clay and decomposed volcanic ash – a combination poor in nutrients and able to retain very little water. The result is stressed vines, producing small berries with deeply structured spice notes and robust tannins. Yields are limited to 2 to 2.5 tons per acre.

Winemaker Notes:

This Cab has rich intensity and tremendous focus.  To maintain that vein of concentration, we kept the wine faithful to the varietal.  On the nose, generous spicy blackberry frames nuances of cocoa, violet, mineral and brown sugar. A brilliant burst of acidity on entry falls into a silky mid-palate and finishes long, with supple tannins and juicy brambleberry.  This wine exudes a lot of depth and stays true to the real spirit of Napa Cabernet. Will age 10-12+ yrs.

Production notes:

Pick date: September 8, 2008
Brix at harvest: 27.7
100% Cabernet Sauvignon; 98% Ink Grade Vineyard, Howell Mtn, 2% Vineyard X, Oakville
27 months in 50% new French cooperage.
TA: 7 g/L
pH: 3.83
Alcohol by volume: 14.5%
RS: 0 g/L

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