Yao Ming Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Appearance is garnet red with purple hues. Rutherford is one of the most desirable mid-valley appellations. Elegant fruit and velvet structure, long finish. The fruit has barrel notes of baking spice and vanilla. The palate is supple and has long tannin structure. The 2017 growing season was an early vintage in the Napa Valley due to Labor Day heat. We had good balance on the fruiting wire. This is a year that saw harvest complete by October 6.
Vineyards: The vineyard is on the Rutherford Bench on the Mayacamas Mountains. The soils are drained bale clay loams. We only produce five barrels due to exotic yields.
Harvest: Early October 2017. Grapes were harvested at an average of 26.3° Brix.
Winemaking: 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.
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Cooperage & Aging: 100% new barrels; 100% French oak; Total time in barrel: 22 months
Bottling: August 2019. 112 cases produced.
Final bottling technical information:
- pH: 3.55
- TA: 6.2 g/L
- Alcohol: 14.8%
Release date: Fall 2020.