In Knights Valley, the climate is very warm. It has the highest average summer temperature among all of Sonoma County's appellations. Don't let that fool you though, because the diurnal temperature range is also high, so the nights cool off considerably—allowing the grapes to rest from the heat and ripen slowly over the course of a growing season.
2013 is a vintage that has been highly-acclaimed by critics and winemakers alike, and as the wines are slowly finding their way into tasting rooms and homes of wine lovers, there is really no doubt that the excitement was fully warranted. A warm and dry spring led to pretty early bud break across the counties (both in Sonoma and Napa), and the steadiness of warm temperatures throughout the growing season led to excellent development for phenolic and physiological ripeness. Ask any winemakers and they will tell you what a warm, even-keeled year it was. Yields were high and quality was high—a win for both winemakers and consumers.
Classic aromas of cassis and blackberry combine with raspberry and dark chocolate on the nose. There is a sense of warmed fruit here, both red and black, with a soft waft of spice in the background. That spice is present on the palate as well, with delicate spiced-raspberry notes, accompanied by blackberry and cocoa notes. The body leans to the medium side, soft and gentle, with slightly gripping tannin. As I noted before, the oak is very well-integrated, lingering just beneath the fruit on this very drinkable and enjoyable Cabernet Sauvignon.
*Originally published on Feast it Forward.