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The 2012 vintage exhibits appealing aromas of black cherry, ripe currants and lightly roasted coffee. Supple tannins and balanced acidity support core flavors of black cherry, blackberry, and cassis, intertwined with sweet herbs and accents of black pepper spice.
337 Cabernet Sauvignon can be enjoyed on its own or with pork loin stuffed with spinach and herbs, grilled baby back ribs, or roasted chicken with spicy Italian sausage.
Not All Vines Are Created Equal
Over centuries, the French have carefully singled out the most coveted vines in Bordeaux and Burgundy, naming each vine with a unique number to identify its exceptional attributes. Here in California, we’ve planted a selection of these French vines exactly where they will flourish best. Now, 15 years after being planted in our vineyard, it is clear that the 337 clone is perfectly at home thriving in the Bordeaux-like soil composition of Clay Station Vineyard, which is iron-rich, gravelly clay interlaced with granite and stone cobbles.
The 2012 vintage was cool and moderate but early rains in October led to a complex harvest. After a relatively dry winter, spring temperatures remained mild and fruit development, from budbreak through berry set, progressed evenly with above average yields. Abnormally cool summer weather provided ideal growing conditions as sugars slowly accumulated. While picking began in late September, October rains complicated matters, but the quality of the fruit remained very high.Overall lower-than-average yields resulted in smaller berries packed with deep, concentrated flavor and color.
Clay Station's distinct soil is a direct result of eons of runoff from the Sierra Nevada mountain range, imbuing the land with a unique set of minerals. The mix of large granite and stone “cobbles” that break up the soil profile create excellent drainage. Additionally, a rocky soil component over a layer of fertile red soil allows for deep root penetration and ultimately a stable vine during times of low moisture and heat. This allows the roots to “reach out” and establish a balanced vine. The soil is very similar to Bordeaux, making it an ideal match for the 337 clone.
337 Cabernet Sauvignon begins in the vineyard, where Winemaker Richard Jew closely monitors the development of flavors and most importantly, the evolution of the tannins. When the tannins achieve optimal ripeness at around 25° brix, the grapes are picked at night and delivered straight to the winery. At the winery, the grapes are destemmed into fermentation tanks where they cold soak for 24-48 hours. Due to the older soils of Clay Station and the higher maturity levels of the fruit, Richard and his team carefully balanced proper extraction during the fermentation process. After the grapes went through primary and malolactic fermentation, the wine was barrelaged in a mix of French and American oak.
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