2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – Elephant Mountain Vineyard
2018 started out with a late bud break which can be beneficial in frost prone areas, delaying the emergence of tender young green shoots closer to Mother’s Day, the unofficial start of summer in the Columbia Valley. The conversations in the vineyard come June always revolve around “how late or early are we”? The character of the vintage is determined in July and August with the quality coming down to what happens in September and October, so I don’t fret too much about when bud break occurs. Perfect temperatures made up for the late bud break and caught everything up by the beginning of June. Bloom was very even and fast, which is ideal. This translates to a majority of the clusters ripening at the same time come veraison (the time when the berries transition from growth to ripening) and a good fruit set (crop level). This is generally a good thing as long as your crop level is thinned to appropriate levels pre- veraison. Heat didn’t arrive until July, which was perfect timing to help shut down vegetative growth. July was hot but not for extended periods. There seemed to be an on/off switch, which helped the vines recover. This trend continued throughout August and September. Temperatures through September and October were perfect, with a few days in the seventies come the third week in October! We had everything in by the second week of October. These moderate temperatures allowed a slow “braze” of the fruit. I think you could have made any style of Cabernet you wanted with this vintage since the ripening window was so wide. As usual, we made the Pamplin style.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Rattlesnake Hills
100% Elephant Mountain Vineyard
20 months in single use (33%) and neutral (67%) French oak barrels
October 6, 2018
58 cases of 750mL bottles
Due to the extremely small production, this wine was not submitted for review.