2019 MORISOLI CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Harvest & Growing Season
A fantastic ripening year, with little rain and warm temperatures in the summer created a very concentrated and powerful 2019 vintage. Short heat spells in the high 90s and low 100s during June, July, and August led to fast initial ripening. Cooler night temperatures in September kept the fruit from over ripening and allowed for ample hangtime while balancing out the flavors and acidity with beautifully resolved tannins. 2.52 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon was handpicked on October 9th, 2019 at 26.5 Brix.
Vines & Farming
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Morisoli Vineyard, Rutherford AVA. The vines are all bilateral, cordon trained and were planted in 1992 on Clone 7/8 using 110R & 1103P rootstocks. The vineyard is farmed by the Morisoli Family as it has been since 1902. Gary, Melody, and their son Chris Morisoli use original tractors and vintage implements to farm the old way. A French plow is used to kill weeds around the vines instead of using sprays, and the vineyard is disced regularly to maintain moisture in the soil. Irrigation is used sparingly during the summer to maintain vine health during heat spells. Harvest is completed in the early morning by hand using the same crew, year to year. Cover crops of plow-down legumes (Sweet Peas, Vetch and Fava Beans) are planted to return nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil every year after harvest and sub soil ripping.
Perfectly ripe grapes for this wine gave up beautiful color quickly and after a two-day cold soak at 45F, the tank was warmed and inoculated. During fermentation, the juice was pumped over two to three times daily, increasingly showing amazing color and intensity. The wine was drained and pressed from the must after 15 days of maceration. Extended aging for 27 months in 60% new Seguin Moreau Icone and Maury French oak barrels that resulted in a rich and complex wine. Intense aromas and flavors of black cherry, cassis, dried herbs, and mocha are integrated into an exceptionally expressive bouquet. Our winemaker Joel Aiken calls it a classic Rutherford Bench Cabernet Sauvignon that will age beautifully for decades.
Bottled Wine Analysis: 14.8% alcohol, 5.8 g/l TA & 3.7 pH.
Cases Produced: 140x 750 ml Standard / 10x 1.5L Magnums
The front label is classic in style and features an illustration of the original 1934 Cletrac Tractor pulling a cultivator in the old block vineyard. The logo features a disc blade, which is central to the tilling of the land every year, as well as the way vineyard blocks are marked. On the reverse, a description of the family history and farming practices. Near the bottom, two subtle “grid coordinates” represent both the Vineyard and the Zaray-Panjwaji region in Afghanistan. This region is known as the area resulting in the most traumatic injuries of the war in Afghanistan. Our goal is to donate a portion of the proceeds to foundations helping combat injured servicemembers.
DAVID THOMPSON: NAPA WINE PROJECT
The 2018 Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (inaugural vintage) is dark ruby in color; the bouquet is opulent and shows plenty of up front fruit including aromas of blackberry, dark plum and black cherry along with espresso, tobacco spice, cedar and dust. The aromatics are arguably riper than the 2019 vintage while the palate offers more intensity and density of both flavor and structure. The tannins are firm, earthy, dusty and offer a gravelly texture which continues to persist for some time. This wine finishes dark and savory with some notes of crushed pepper, cedar and a tobacco spice along with an accompanying parallel of fruit.