2017 Napa Valley Red Wine
The 2017 Cave Dog Red wine is made again from vines that gave us Bourriquot starting in 1992. I had no idea back then that this project would have such a long life, but here we are, 25 vintages later!
Two important facts about this vintage: it was harvested 3 days before the disastrous wildfires that swept over California that October, thus was sheltered from any of the smoke that darkened our skies. You will have heard about “smoke taint,” and it’s real, but it affected only grapes still on the vines at that time.
The second vital fact is that the 2017 is exactly 50% each Merlot and Cabernet Franc, not because I chose to keep some wine out, but because the vineyard year gave us virtually the same amount of each (OK, 17 pounds more of Merlot). This has given a wine with exotic spice notes (pepper, cardamom, ginger) that I attribute mostly to the higher percentage of Franc. I was also able once again to co-ferment these two varieties, leading to earlier harmony between them and more resolved structure, like very fine leather.