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Our Cabernet Sauvignons are vinified with destemmed (but uncrushed) fruit in open-top vats — with manual punchdown during fermentation, and extended time on skins before pressing. They are racked very infrequently, necessitating extra time in barrel to fully develop before bottling. This takes nearly three years. What I am finding is that this unconventional way of providing small amounts of oxygen to the wine while providing the opportunity for fermentative yeasts to give back to the grape what they removed while alive during fermentation creates a wonderful way to preserve more of the grape in its best forms for the long term.
This ‘breaking of rules’ is not done for its own sake. It has been the synthesis of years of experience and observation with the material at hand and an honest review of past gestalts and their outcomes. The goal is to move forward. Always.