1100 CASES PRODUCED 24 MONTHS IN 30% NEW FRENCH OAK
2008 is more reminiscent of our first three vintages than it is of the three opulent vintages that precede it. This is not a wine whose appeal is based on ripeness or flash, but is all about clear fruit, pitch-perfect varietal character, and the structure to age for many years. It is a blend of forty-percent Red Winery, thirty-five-percent Stone, twenty-five-percent Pyramid. It spent nearly 30 months in barrel and, even at six and a half years old, still has plenty of grit. The nose shows leather, coffee, and baking spice, while the finish has a pronounced black cherry character. The 2008 is a wine with all the hallmarks of classic Cabernet Sauvignon that will continue to improve for at least a decade.
The 2010 is a Pyramid-heavy blend that shows very intense, dark color, aroma, and flavor: plums, blackberries, chocolate, smoke. The 2010 also shows some of the same surprisingly bright, high-tone finish notes as the 2009, but it is decidedly less tannic and more lush. The 2010 may not be at its peak, but it is very expressive right now and has some of the same soft, silky tannin shown by the 2005 and 2006 at the same age – all things that make it a pleasure to drink immediately. That said, this wine will be happy in the cellar for another decade.
300 CASES PRODUCED 24 MONTHS IN 30% NEW FRENCH OAK
The Pyramid is a winemaker’s darling of a vineyard. It is named for its steep, terraced front hill, but the whole place is rocky and rugged with spectacular views in every direction: Knights Valley to the east, Chalk Hill to the west and south, and Alexander Valley to the north. The steepness and exposure of the vineyard lead the Pyramid Single Vineyard Cabernet to be dark and intense every vintage. The 2012 is nearly black and surprisingly generous for how young it is. After a few minutes in the glass, the nose is bursting with Santa Rosa plum and crushed blackberry. It hits the palate with layers of sweet and savory: black olive, burned beef, plum jam. Amazing freshness, and although very tannic, more drinkable than I would have thought.
150 CASES PRODUCED 30 MONTHS IN 50% NEW FRENCH OAK
We have been farming the Stone Vineyard since 1972; it was one of Alexander Valley’s first Cabernet vineyards. The ranch is on Chalk Hill Road, at the very southern edge of Alexander Valley, and the soil is typical of the terrior that gives the region its name – compressed, volcanic ash that looks and feels like chalk. The combination of the very rocky soil and relatively cool climate at the Stone Vineyard combined for a Cabernet that spent the early years of its life so tightly wound and tannic as to be almost completely unapproachable. After five years or so, the wine began to open and now, nine years on, it is drinking in its prime. The aroma is of rose petals and blackberry bramble and dried cherry and the wine is long and soft on the palate and finishes salty and tangy. A Cabernet drinker’s Cab with years of cellar time still left.
Yeah, I still wake up every day and feel lost but, the fact is we’ve been doing this for quite a while now (42 years of farming and 12 years of making wine, to be precise). When my mom and dad started growing Cabernet here in 1972, they saw themselves as working in the shadow of the great French houses of Bordeaux, where the wines are typically made to be at their best after a decade rather than a few years. Thirty years later, when we started bottling Cabernet under our own label, growing and building wines to last was at the top of our list of principles. This box contains the first ten years of Alexander Valley Cabernet we produced, and it represents all forty-two years my family has spent carving out a name for Alexander Valley as a great place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. The gift includes a bottle each of 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, along with tasting notes and cellaring suggestions for each vintage. The wines are packaged in a custom wooden box, bottles signed by the winemaker.
In 2004, we made a total of two dozen of these three liter bottles, each filled, corked and waxed by me and my dad, and each of them signed by us both. This is a tightly wound, tannic beast of a wine that is far more integrated and drinkable today that it was upon release. At age 10, the 2004 still shows the same bright red cherry on the nose and palate that it had six years ago, but that upfront fruit is joined by a potpourri of classic aged Cabernet aromas and flavors: tobacco leaf, leather, and cloves, to pick out a few. This wine is ready to drink now with a variety of holiday fair, but it has the bones to spend at least another ten years in the cellar.
To celebrate the ten year anniversary, we have packaged each three liter bottle in a handsome wooden box, designed to increase the already considerable wow factor that always accompanies the arrival of a big bottle at a party – either as a gift to be laid away in the cellar for holidays to come, or a delicious indulgence to make this year one to remember.
Please contact us with requests and instructions for personalized inscriptions on the bottle.