92 Points - James Suckling
"A floral Cabernet with pressed violets fresh black currants, hay and black licorice. The palate has pretty herbal edge to it, as well as firm tannins, bright acidity and a medium -chewy finish. Drink now or hold." - James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, February 2019
In this vintage the wine is showing more red fruits than previous vintages, with slightly sweeter vanilla tones from the American oak. Tannins are well developed, framing a wine with great structure and balance. Classic Napa Cabernet notes of mocha and cassis join Bing cherry accented with pepper and oak spice, caramel toffee and layered flavors that leave a lasting, subtly sweet impression.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the signature variety of the Napa Valley and the appellation excels in producing outstanding examples of this admired varietal. Napa Valley offers an ideal combination of topography, geology and climate that enables Cabernet Sauvignon to reach optimum ripeness, balance and finesse. And within the valley, there are exceptional vineyards and sub-appellations that produce some of the finest expressions of this noble grape, truly Platinum worthy. In Vintage 2015, winemaker Harry Hansen has selected notable lots from vineyards spanning key Napa Valley growing regions, including the Meigs Vineyard in Wooden Valley, Moore Ranch in Napa Valley, Sleeping Lady Vineyard in Yountville and a trio of notable Calistoga vineyards, including Bear Flats, Barlow Ranch and BV Ranch 12. The vineyards offer soils ranging from clay loam to tufa, with a variety of clones, exposures and ages.
The 2015 growing season was marked by pleasant weather with little pressure from heat spikes or unseasonable rain. A dry winter, common recently, was quickly followed by an equally dry spring, leading to an early bud break and fast start to the growing season. Warm weather continued throughout late spring and summer, allowing for the steady and sure development of flavors. The overall quality, complexity and balance in the vines produced exceptional fruit. The impact of the continuing drought was evident in slightly lighter crop loads, but the reduction in size was offset by an increase in quality as vineyard crews carefully selected fruit at harvest, allowing for only the finest fruit to be selected for Platinum wines.
Fruit was hand-harvested and hand-sorted, selecting only the highest quality fruit for fermentation in stainless vessels. Fruit was allowed to ferment for up to 15 days with regular pump-overs to extract deep color and rich flavors. The wine was then gently pressed, racked and aged for 19 months in a combination of 50% French (50% new) and 25% each American and Hungarian oak. Barrels are COF toasted medium/medium plus from a mix of coopers including Gamba, Remond, Taransaud, Allary and Quintessence. Individual barrels are aged separately and are tasted frequently before the final selection of only the most compelling candidates for Platinum. The final varietal composition is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 6% Malbec.