Comparing Cabernet Despite the Splinters


Cabernet - Halter Ranch Vineyard

Cabernet and Light



Last week the production crew set aside some time to blind taste through a group of prominent Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet based blends.  Among the eight wines were many famous, critically acclaimed, and highly sought after offerings from Napa Valley.  Our 2010 Ancestor was thrown in the mix for comparison.  The task for each taster was to select her or his favorite wine from the bunch while also noting any wines that seemed to differ significantly from the rest of the group.  The difficulty in tasting Cabernet Sauvignon is that it tends to be noticeably tannic, fairly acidic, and depending on the region, heavily oaked.  The result is a distinctly weighty and mouth stripping experience.  The crew persevered however, and the consensus among the staff was quite interesting.  We found that though Ancestor is from an entirely different region than the rest of the offerings, it was not selected as among the outliers.  Additionally, while it fit well with the rest of the line up in body and flavor profile, it is less than half of the retail cost of most of the other wines tasted. 

In no particular order the tasting included:  2009 Inglenook Cask, 2009 Parallel, 2010 Schrader To Kalon, 2009 Pahlmeyer, 2010 Plumpjack, 2010 Lewis, 2009 Opus One, and 2010 Ancestor.

In other winery news we are in the process of deep cleaning the (already shiny) facility in preparation for the start of harvest.  Additionally we’ve received some sparkly new stainless toys to assist in our ongoing quest toward greater precision and efficiency.


Sump - Halter Ranch Vineyard

New Stainless Intermediary for Press Fraction


The custom made (and Darren Ramos designed!) sump above will assist in the process of pressing off remaining juice bound up in the skins and other solids (the must) after primary fermentation.  Additionally, the larger surface area of the upper screen will allow for simpler transition when transferring barrel ferments from three barrels to one.  Check back soon for an article covering the barrel fermentation process (which is both fascinating and labor intensive!).

For those of you itching to try our debut Tempranillo, we have begun pouring it in the tasting room on weekends.  Be warned, there is not much left, it is delicious, and we are so excited about it that the remainder will likely be gone within weeks.  Cheers and thanks for reading!  If you haven’t vistited our facebook or twitter feeds recently we highly suggest you go check them out and be entertained.



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