Cabernet Sauvignon Signature 2016
Viking Estate Vineyard
The epitome of mountain grown fruit, this year’s Signature Cabernet Sauvignon displays a whiplash of vibrant red and blue berries (a woven garment of huckleberries and blueberries) in a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of Christmas spices and fresh cedar -- bound in an “iron fist in a velvet glove” tension with crisp-edged fruit and diamond-like tensile strength in a magnetic embrace.
The Viking Vineyard is among a handful of celebrated sites known among Paso Robles Cabernet enthusiast for producing wines of striking intensity and length of flavor. Planted in 1991 the vineyard sits on a particularly steep, south-facing slope emphasizing low yields and dramatic fruit concentration. The Signature edition is Adelaida’s Reserve level, based on best barrels and best vineyard exposures. The 2016 vintage was the 5th year of a long central coast drought characterized by steady late summer temperatures with evening cooling. Multiple picks at night in the last week of September allowed each block to keep its geographic integrity. Fruit was hand sorted, de-stemmed, optically sorted and fermented with indigenous yeast cultures in upright wooden foudres. Wines aged for 20 months in mostly brand new French oak barrels.
Aroma: Crushed huckleberry/blueberry mélange, cinnamon stick, cedar incense
Flavor: Mixed berry compote enlivened with zest, cinnamon-nutmeg-vanilla spices, cedar wood plank
Pepper encrusted, oak grilled boneless strip steak; cast iron sautéed hanger steak with shallots and shiitake mushrooms; honey-soy baked chicken thighs
Planted in 1991, Viking Vineyard was Adelaida’s first estate vineyard and is a true Cabernet site. Located in the coastal- influenced Adelaida District, 14 miles from the ocean, Viking Vineyard is planted among the steepest slopes (elevations reached 1900 feet) on the Adelaida property. Sitting on an extremely steep, south facing shelf of limestone, the site presents a challenging environment for growing grapes. Viking Vvineyard is defined by its calcareous limestone soils, south facing slopes, and a mountain micro-climate that elevates UV absorption.
The 2016 vintage at Adelaida was exceptionally good, with very high-quality fruit and slightly above-average yields. The winter rainfall was higher than in the previous four years, budbreak was early, and conditions during fruit set were unremarkable—which is desirable. The summer had a few periods of very warm weather—in June we hit 100 degrees nine times—but that heat created lots of color. July, too, was warm, but it was followed by a beautiful, cool to moderate August, which gave the pigmented varietals time to recover and develop flavors.
Connect with Adelaida and your photo will be among the featured moments. Use #ADELAIDAWINES to share your experience.