Yao Ming Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
The 2017 has not yet been reviewed. The 2016 received a 93, and the 2015 a 94, from Wine Advocate.
Appearance exhibits a deep ruby garnet hue. Aromas are layered with berry and flavors of cherry, cassis and violet. There is a core minerality with lavender tones. The oak is well integrated and has nice toasty aromas with hints of vanilla and wild sage. On the palate the wine is lush and firm but also has mature long tannins and supple texture. This wine can be enjoyed now and will age for 10 years.
The 2017 growing season was an early vintage in the Napa Valley, we began harvest on September 10. We had good balance on the fruiting wire and an average size crop.
Vineyards range from our bench land site in Yountville to Northern St. Helena. The clonal selection includes Cabernet Sauvignon 337, 4 and 6. The soils are alluvial fan and volcanic rock at an elevation between 70– 548.6 meters (200–1800 feet) above sea level.
Fruit was rigorously hand-sorted and fully destemmed to small stainless steel tanks with light crushing. Cold soaks (5-7 days), warm fermentations between 29– 32°C (85-90°F), and moderate pumpovers twice each day. Total skin contact ranged from 19-34 days with all fermentations being carefully basket pressed and put to barrel on full fermentation lees for malolactic fermentation (ML). Racking was twice per year with only one assemblage being done to allow the blend to “marry” in barrel. Barrels for final blend were hand selected by taste. Native yeast and ML used with only small lots conducted using cultured Bordeaux isolates. Bottled without filtration.
94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.