Impressed by her personality, we decided Sleeping Lady Vineyard merits a single-vineyard bottling. Sleeping Lady Vineyard rests at the foot of the Mayacamas Vineyards in Napa Valley's Yountville AVA. This vineyard's soils, climate and cultivation techniques foster deep, Cabernet Sauvignon flavors with firm, elegant tannins. Gentle handcrafting and aging in new oak barrels develop the terroir flavors and add complex nuances. This limited bottling captures the distinctive personality of a single Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard located against the western hills of Napa Valley.
“Although very powerful and highly structured, this imposing cabernet is seamless, the richness and creaminess not a jot too much. The finish is very intense, but every bit as polished. You can drink it right now, but this wine, from a great Yountville vineyard, has many years ahead of it.” - James Suckling, February 2020/p>
Dark, wild and brooding, with tremendous intensity of deep-fruit character. The wine’s expressive aromas and sensual flavors are layered with notes of ripe black cherry, black raspberry, wild sage, crushed granite, floral violet and hints of dried rosemary. A streak of fresh acidity brightens the juicy mid-palate and the muscular tannins are opulent and rich. Beautifully balanced between power and elegance, the wine is rich and plush with persistence to the end. Aging in new French oak barrels, crafted well-integrated warmer nuances of caramel, vanilla bean, espresso and oak spice through the tremendously lengthy finish.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January, we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Cabernet with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.
Sleeping Lady Vineyard is named for the silhouette of the Mayacamas Mountains behind it; at dusk the outline suggests a woman lying on her side with her hair flowing to the south. Farmed by the Bettinelli family, this vineyard lies on the west side of Napa Valley in the Yountville AVA. Here, the alluvial fan soils encourage the vines to root deeply to find water. A few feet of topsoil cover a defined bed of cobblestones mixed with gravel, which provide enough stress to keep the grapes desirably small. The vineyard’s unique trellising system ripens each cluster in dappled sunlight—never in full sun or full shade—to give the tiny grapes exceptionally thick and flavorful skins, which yield a rich, highly extracted wine.
We hand sorted the grapes first in the vineyard, when we picked them at dawn, and then again at the winery for optimum quality. We first cold soaked the lightly crushed grapes for gentle extraction. A portion of the wine was then fermented in barrels, with the balance in stainless steel, for early integration of oak character and to enhance the wine’s plush texture. After pressing, the wine completed malolactic fermentation in barrels to round the acidity.
Trevor grew up in nearby Sonoma County, one of the wine hubs of Northern California. Wine was a staple at his family dinner table, and he enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California, Davis. After an internship at Sonoma-Cutrer in 2003 and two consecutive harvest internships making sparkling wine at Gloria Ferrer, Trevor joined Moon Mountain Vineyard, a small, well-regarded organic vineyard in Sonoma, shortly after his graduation from UC Davis. In March of 2010, Trevor joined the winemaking team at Hewitt Vineyard and Provenance Vineyards and was appointed senior winemaker in 2015.
"From a winemaking standpoint, we have access to some of the best fruit in Napa Valley, not just from our estate in Rutherford, but also from Carneros in the south all the way up to Calistoga in the north. Our job is to make sure that each wine is balanced, complex, exciting and representative of its terroir."