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2013 was the inaugural vintage of the Cab Five and marks the first vintage of our Bordeaux style blend. Guy trialed tested and tasted, tirelessly throughout Sonoma County for years to find the perfect high elevation hillside Cabernet vineyards for our first Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon in 2011. Through this meticulous search, he was able to find mountaintop vineyards in the Rockpile AVA. In 2013 small lots of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot from Rockpile Ridge became available and Guy leapt at the chance to create a blend with these varieties with the Rockpile Cabernet Sauvignon. Thus was born the Cab 5, named for the 5 grape varieties that comprise this wine. This wine showcases the artistry of blending, highlighting the best in each variety while coming together seamlessly in this blend.
The Rockpile AVA is one of the newest in California, located at the northwest corner of the Dry Creek Valley. While the area has been referred to as Rockpile since the 1850’s, the appellation did not receive its AVA status until 2002. There are a few key factors that set the Rockpile AVA apart from neighboring appellations, one of the most distinctive being an elevation requirement. Vineyards must be at an elevation of 800 feet or higher to be included in the Rockpile AVA. Another feature that contributes to this unique terroir is the proximity to Lake Sonoma. The lake holds its temperature, creating an inversion layer that sucks the fog down to its surface. This keeps these high elevation vineyards virtually fog free, with great sun exposure. Additionally, the extreme terrain of steep hillsides and shallow soils cause the vines to struggle, resulting in low yields of highly concentrated fruit. All of these components work together to create an appellation like no other – the Rockpile AVA. Perched over 1200 feet in elevation above Lake Sonoma, these Ridgeline blocks sit above the fog and have the ideal combination of soils, sunshine and coastal influence.
All five varieties were picked, sorted, fermented and barrel aged separately in 100% French oak. Through multiple blending trials, varying the percentage of each variety slightly, Guy is able to craft a beautifully balanced blend. Inspired by the traditions of Bordeaux, while showcasing the terroir of the Rockpile AVA, this wine is a true expression of Rockpile Ridge. The objective in crafting this wine is to not only have the ultimate in complexity and balance - but a combination of richness and respect to the traditions of these grapes, which is the best of both new and old worlds.