2011 Godspeed Cabernet Sauvignon
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It’s no secret that we love mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and year after year the fruit from Mt. Veeder’s Godspeed Vineyard justifies my passion. There’s an intensity and concentration to the grapes that practically jumps out of the crusher, and with careful handling this intensity translates to a wine of enormous depth and richness.
"Sbragia continues to purchase fruit from the Gallo Family-owned Monte Rosso Vineyard, one of the most iconic sites in Sonoma. The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard is one of the stars of this much maligned, irregular vintage. Its deep, inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by scents of loamy soil, licorice, roasted herbs, blackcurrants and blackberries. This beautiful, full-throttle 2011 eclipses the vintage’s reputation and overall quality. Drink it over the next decade."
Godspeed is an artisan grower in the Mount Veeder Appellation of Napa Valley. The vineyard is the project of the Larry Stricker family. At 1,500 feet elevation, Larry’s picturesque vineyard on Mt. Veeder is an ideal spot for growing classic mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard was planted in 1987. The vineyard comprises a series of steep hillsides and mixed volcanically-derived soils. Accessed through a long, winding road, it’s easy to see why Larry is so passionate about this remote vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines that cling to its slopes produce small clusters of deeply concentrated grapes that lead to statuesque wines with immense aging potential.
2011 was one of coolest growing seasons in years, beginning with a wet winter and spring that delayed bloom and fruit set, resulting in lower yields in many parts of Mount Veeder. Cool temperatures delayed vine development by several weeks, a timetable that continued through the cooler-than-usual summer season. Few high heat events occurred at any point in 2011, but we used leaf pulling to open up the vine canopies, ensuring there was enough warmth, sunlight and air circulation around the grape clusters to get them fully ripe.
As my father always taught me, when it comes to red wine if you have great fruit to work with, it’s best to keep the winemaking simple. Determining the right moment to pick is one of the most crucial decisions, and as harvest approached in 2011, Adam and I returned again and again to this small vineyard to taste and sample the grapes. When the time came, the grapes were hand-picked, crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The young wine was then placed in thin-staved French oak barrels where the wine aged for nearly two years prior to bottling.
“It’s no secret that we love mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and year after year the fruit from Mt. Veeder’s Godspeed Vineyard justifies my passion. There’s an intensity and concentration to the grapes that practically jumps out of the crusher, and with careful handling this intensity translates to a wine of enormous depth and richness. The 2011 vintage produced a wine with generous aromas and flavors of ripe black cherries, plums, cola berry, and cocoa powder, deftly balanced with the sweet toasty notes of classy French oak. Velvety-smooth, this is what I call an “instant gratification” wine, though cellaring will undoubtedly reward the collector with additional layers of complex flavors.”
- November 2, 2011
- 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petite Verdot
- 6.10 gm/L