CHRISTOPHER CARPENTER, WINEMAKER -
"One of the great rewards for any winemaker is the look of anticipation, joy, and satisfaction that comes as people experience the wines we produce. That moment more than anything, drives our passion for the work we do. The most interesting aspect about this process is the combination of analytical and artistic styles. One must learn to move from thinking with the left hemisphere of the brain (the logician) to the right (the artist), which is not as easy as it might sound.
Cardinale is, for me, a wine that takes the most effort from a right-hemisphere perspective. Most of the year I am living and thinking in the left side of the brain-overseeing the nuances of the vineyards, the pathology and development of the wine. In May, I switch to the other hemisphere. Having close to 50 individual wines to evaluate with the goal of creating one wine I must focus on narrowing those down to create a palate of aromatic subtlety, taste bud intensity, complexity, and textural depth and length. In order to do this I have to "see" the patterns of each wine individually and understand how they layer together when blending.
With the 2014 vintage, a smooth and steady growing season that had only a few short heat spikes, I finally decided on 24 different wines, spanning six different appellations and 12 vineyard sites. Roughly 33% of the final blend came from Spring Mountain whose vineyard sites have soils composed primarily of volcanic loam, imparting fine tannins and delicate floral notes to the wine. To the east on Howell Mountain, we hav two estate vineyards making up roughly 25% that contribute dark fruit characters, herbs and weight adding complexity and depth.
Whether you are a typical left-brain or right-brain thinker, I believe your entire brain, heart and palate will enjoy this wine now and for years to come".
Tasting Note: "A wine of great intensity, silky tannins and adequate acidity, this is clearly one of the great, great wines of the vintage, and another tour de force in winemaking from Carpenter" Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate, October 2016.
Grape Variety: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot
Ageing: 19 months in 100% French oak, 94% new.
Finishing: Unfined and unfiltered.