2015 Cabernet Sauvignon 'Neyers Ranch'
“Let’s get to the point immediately—The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from Neyers Vineyards is a fabulous wine! I’ve been enthusiastic about this bottling since the day the grapes came in, and after tasting it last week at our annual Wine Club get-together, I’m more enthusiastic about it than ever. Barbara and I have watched this vineyard grow and develop around our home since Dave Abreu planted these vines in 1992. While each harvest seems to bring its own amount of satisfaction, teeth gnashing and learning curves, there is no doubt that we have learned more from our experience with the drought years of 2010 through 2016 than from any other string of harvests in our careers. We historically receive around 36 inches of rainfall in the Napa Valley every year, but we never saw more than 20 inches for any of the growing seasons from 2010 through 2016, until 2017. Last year we rollicked in a wonderfully wet year that delivered an almost unprecedented 52 inches of water to us. The 2015 growing season, however, was one of the most demanding of those successive drought years recording a mere 12 inches of rain. The vines were seriously stressed for most of the year, and when entering the final month of ripening, growers were clearly alarmed—and in some instances expecting the worst. The final two weeks of September saw a significant change in weather when a small, but important, storm came our way and did much to change our late season fortunes. Cabernet Sauvignon has such loose clusters and is more capable than any other variety for dealing with moisture at ripening, collecting it and transferring it back into the vine, in most instances without fear of mold or mildew. The principal drawback in the 2015 harvest was simply the small size of the crop, which in our case was barely 24 tons of fruit, or well below two tons per acre. Still, the fruit was marvelously, intense, and beautifully fragrant, and the aromas were apparent even as the grapes were being harvested. The clusters were full and ripe, and the finished wine turned out to be one of the best we’ve been able to put our name on, ever. I love the dark color coupled with that vibrant fruit aroma, and as frequently occurs in low yield vintages, the wine has a comforting softness that makes it immediately attractive. I’d love to see how it develops over the next decade or more, and plan to keep enough around to check on it regularly.” –Bruce Neyers