Lava Cap Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, El Dorado, California

This Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from mountain vineyards high in the Sierra Nevada foothills. “Lava Cap” is an old miner’s term denoting a hard, volcanic rock layer that locally overlies gold-bearing gravels. Some of the first vines planted in 1981 on the Lava Cap vineyard site were Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Over 30 years later the resulting wines are rich with nuanced characteristics and smooth long finishes. The shallow site where the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grow is rocky Aiken loam soil which stresses the vines and decreases berry size, yielding an average of 3 tons per acre. “During fermentation, Joe Norman takes great care to ensure bitter tannins from the seeds and skins are not extracted. After primary fermentation is complete, the wine goes through malolactic fermentation and is then transferred to barrel for aging. Our Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in French oak barrels, with about 30% of the vintage aged in new barrels and the remaining 70% in second fill barrels. This integrates a strong oak backbone into the wine that helps support the natural tannin structure of our intensely flavored grapes. Our wine maker, Joe, allows the Cabernet a minimum of 20 months in barrel to allow flavors and aromatics to integrate. The stylistic smooth finish of the wine is achieved through a balance of flavor, acidity, and tannin.” – from the Winery