Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Viking Estate Vineyard
92 - 94 points, Wine Advocate
The final wine emphasizes the power and thrust of Cabernet Sauvignon 76%, with aromatic and flavor nuances from Malbec 12%, Petite Verdot 8% and Cabernet Franc 4%, from our Upper Viking Vineyard.
93 points, Jeb Dunnuck
"From the Viking Estate Vineyard, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Viking Estate Vineyard spent 20 months in half new French oak barrels. It offers a terrific bouquet of toasted bread, crème de cassis, black raspberries, vanilla bean and spring flowers. Supple, sexy, layered and gorgeously polished, with tons of fruit, it would cost three times the price if it came from Napa."
92 - 94 points - Robert Parker's, Wine Advocate
"Less aromatic than the Signature cuvee and showing slightly more base notes of blackcurrants, bouquet garni, and graphite, the 2014 Viking Blend is a rich, mouth-coating and concentrated barrel sample that has nicely integrated oak, ripe tannin and savory profile. Drink it through 2024."
In essence a Bordeaux style blend the wine shows the enhanced ripeness associated with California with firm yet broad tannins, cranberry-like crisp fruit accented by graphite minerality, sweet tobacco and dark chocolate.
Olive oil and rosemary marinated beef tenderloin pan seared with Parmesan shavings, port braised shortribs, grilled flap steak with salsa verde
The “Viking” is a true expression of mountain grown fruit. This Estate Vineyard, at 1700 feet of elevation in the coastal range of the Santa Lucia Mountains captures a quality and personality very different from grapes grown on the valley floor. Several factors define the Adelaida style: low vigor, well drained soils (calcareous limestone) stressing the vines and producing smaller berries and low yields; south facing exposures (maximum sun from sun-up to sun-down) producing ideal physiological ripeness; consistency of climate with reduced heat at mid-day and warmer nights; a mountain micro-climate that elevates UV absorption and contributes to retention of natural fruit acidity (maximizing color saturation with crisp edged flavors and improved ageing potential). Fruit from our oldest, most mature blocks (planted in 1991) adds provenance and complexity to the finished wine.
2014 proved to be one of the best vintages in the last decade characterized by a more constant daily temperature range without the heat spikes that sometimes plague the inland Paso Robles summer season. A continuation of the drought, now into its 3rd year added stress and kept yields down while “deficit irrigation” minimized ground water applications to specific growth cycles and soil moisture monitoring. Harvest from mid to late September benefited from Indian summer conditions yielding high levels of skin pigments and fruit density. Small lot fermentations with indigenous yeast were followed by prolonged maceration, ultimately finishing in French oak for 20 months (50% new).
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