2018 CABERNET SAUVIGNON Paso Robles is one of California’s most pastoral domains. Its name roughly translates to “Passageway of Oaks,” and indeed, majestic trees mark the landscape. Amongst the rolling hills and native habitat lie manicured vineyards, where ideal soil exists for farming Cabernet. Dry, warm conditions are typical, yet evenings are chilled by a breeze from the Pacifi c Ocean just 18 miles to the west, allowing fruit to ripen into luxurious richness.
The 2018 growing season gave us near-normal rainfall and mild conditions through spring with only a few weeks of exception. July brought a short period of very warm weather that slowed vine growth and berry sizing. Fortunately, moderate weather for the remainder of the growing season enabled vines to thrive. Leading up to harvest, the vines slow berry maturity was ideal for “hang time” resulting in predicted yields, high fruit quality with amazing color and structure.
After harvesting the grapes, select vineyard lots were fermented individually in stainlesssteel tanks for 10-14 days. Extended macerations and carefully managed pump overs enhanced the extraction of color and tannin. The lots were aged separately for 11 months in a combination of 10% new, 25% once used, and 65% two to three times used French Oak. Through a combination of tasting and analytics our best lots were determined and the initial blend was assembled in late summer of 2019. As a whole, this blend was aged an additional three months in 75% new and 25% once used French Oak. The wine was racked just twice during its cellar life, with the fi nal racking occurring just prior to bottling.
Deep ruby in color, the 2018 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon expresses aromas of fresh black currants and cherries accompanied by subtle smoky notes and dried spices. On the palate, this lavish powerful wine is layered with juicy blackberry, ripe cherry, vanilla bean and brown butter. It’s full-bodied and rich, balanced by a touch of bright acidity and fi rm polished tannins