As a producer all you can ask from Mother Nature is to avoid extremes and for enough time to get everything accomplished how you want, but more importantly, when you want. 2013 was exactly that. While a warm, dry spring advanced the season placing the ripening times in August and September instead of September and October, we avoided the dramatic heat spells that often accompany such advanced timing. This allowed all grapes to be harvested at a time that was correct for that variety, ranch and specific block. The vintage is emerging as one with tremendous purity and freshness.
In 2013 we challenged ourselves to improve the study of Star Lane by increasing the amount of small lot fermentations we conducted. We produced over 30 different Cabernet Sauvignon lots entirely predicated on differences we observed in the vineyard. That is to say, the vineyard drove these differences and we wanted to capture that in the cellar. As a result we produced a wide array of Cabernet Sauvignon flavors and textures. It was out of this many that we procured one great Cabernet. Once we found how to best bring together the different profiles of Cabernet we sought to use Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Malbec to add an extra layer of deliciousness to the final wine.
There is certainly a “mark” to Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon. However describing it is no easy task. This youthful expression of Cabernet currently shows a floral, sage-like quality that seems to mask darker fruits we observed in the cellar prior to bottling. This is not unexpected from great Cabernet so we turn to the texture to inform us about where it is headed. The mouth feel impresses up front with a broad entry but immediately gets onto a tense track that glides to a focused finish. The grip of structure we often see from Star Lane is present, but only as a flourish on the finish that presents itself as a serious but controlled and balanced.