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2017 Cabernet Sauvignon AME

2017 Cabernet Sauvignon AME
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SKU: 383030217

"In the summer of 1992 Dave Abreu visited our Conn Valley Ranch at our invitation. We had six acres of Merlot vines about to produce their first crop, but we wanted him to look at the surrounding undeveloped land and advise us how to proceed with future plantings. We were intent on planting the balance to Cabernet Sauvignon and since much of it was hillside, we’d hired a local engineering firm to develop a county approved erosion control plan. Dave spent the first year clearing and grading the land, removing rock, installing drain tiles and diverting runoff to Conn Creek. We planted 11 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon on the two parcels we named Home Ranch North and Home Ranch South, and today these two vineyards are the basis for our bottling of Neyers Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. As soon as he was finished with this project though, David looked further up the hill to our northernmost and highest elevation block, and quietly said we should make a plan to develop that 5-acre parcel. When we have that piece planted, Dave maintained, we will have reached the ‘Soul’ of Neyers Vineyards. This was in 1996, and it looked like a formidable undertaking to me, despite having worked on steeper, rockier and less forgiving vineyard projects while I was at Mayacamas Winery from 1971 to 1973, and later in Germany in 1974. Parts of this new parcel that Dave wanted to develop were at a 45-degree angle, and much of it was over 1000 feet in elevation. All of it was rocky, and the top portion was covered with what was in places a five-foot deep Basalt deposit. The cost seemed to make vineyard development here almost out of the question, but Dave was determined. He had established several high elevation vineyards like this already, and he insisted that the quality of fruit we’d get from this new vineyard made it well worth the struggle. Barbara and I agreed, and we began work on this new parcel in 1997. We called the parcel ‘The Knoll’, and it went from about 800 feet in elevation to over 1000 feet, much of it at a 45 degree angle facing due south. We planted the parcel to two rootstocks, 420A and 3309, then budded it entirely to ‘Selection Massale’ plant material that Dave had taken from the old John Daniels Vineyard at Inglenook Winery. Word was that this budwood had been brought back to California in 1940 by John Daniels after he received it as a gift from the owners of Ch. Margaux following a European trip. We planted using 3 X 6 spacing, with rows running east to west across the face of the steep hill, so they receive the benefit of direct sunlight on the south-facing leaves from dawn to dusk. At one point, my Kermit Lynch office manager pointed out that the French word for ‘Soul’ was Âme. This word, she reminded us, contained the first name initial for each of our three children -- Alexandra, Michael and Elizabeth. We thought this was an important omen, and renamed the parcel ‘The ÂME Vineyard’. The first harvest was in 2005, and the wine we produced was everything Dave promised. The first client to taste the wine offered to buy the entire production. The crop level of the ÂME Vineyard is small, given the arduous growing conditions, and we rarely see more than two tons per acre. In 2017, the crop was even smaller, but the wine is extraordinary. Dark colored, with an aroma both deep and rich, the flavors are full and satisfying, both complex and attractive, yet destined to improve over time. In my more than 40 years in the wine business, I’ve never had a wine to sell that gives me greater satisfaction." - Bruce Neyers

Wine Specs
Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley
Alcohol %
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