Cabernet Sauvignon Viking Reserve 2009
92 pts, Connoisseurs Guide
92 points - Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
There is no missing the lavish oak that colors this wine at most every stop, but, from its very rich and wide open aromas to its layered, wonderfully persistent flavors, it is deep and generous fruit takes the starring role all the same. Full-bodied and supple with an especially fine texture and gentle, carefully tailored tannins, this one speaks to both optimal ripeness and very good balance and ends with an exceptionally long finish. Inviting right now and so nicely polished that it does not demand lengthy aging, it is certain to last for years.
This year’s Viking has a sense of sculptured elegance in its finely cut contours of crisp cherry-like fruit and balancing acidity with subtle hints of vanilla bean and sweet pipe tobacco. With patience and a bit of decanting the wine fills out, gaining a voluptuousness and generosity of flavors. Decanting is recommended for current drinking.
At 18 acres, our Viking Vineyard is a true mountain vineyard, located on the coastal influenced west Paso Robles, 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Sitting on an extremely steep, south-facing shelf of limestone, the site presents a challenging environment for growing grapes. Vine spacing is the tightest of all five Adelaida vineyards; 4 feet between vines and 8 feet between rows, 1361 vines/acre. Varying between 1,400 and 1,695 feet in elevation, these late ripening vines receive the full arc of the sun while keeping their crisp mountain fruit character, a function of elevation and the dramatic 40-50 degree afternoon cool down brought by the intrusion of the marine air flow. In 2010 Adelaida achieved SIP Certification for our sustainable vineyard practices.
Another year of low rainfall kept yields down but smaller berry size and thick skins, developed during the summer heat, contributed ripe fruit flavors and above average anthocyanin levels (a component of color and skin pigmentation). The classic Paso Robles weather pattern of hot mid day temperatures with consistent afternoon marine air intrusions and rapid evening cool downs brought on a mid May Cabernet fruit set and veraison (color change) by late June, early July. The upper ridge top locations experienced an accelerated ripening due to increased sun exposure at the higher elevations and the stress of leaner soils. Optimum balance, that confluence of grape sugars, natural acidity and PH brought us to an early September 4th harvest.
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