Gain Bay 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Family
is the third vintage for our Cabernet Family, and it may very well be considered the finest cuvee to date.
At the outset, it was clear stunning wine was available from some of the finest vineyard sources in Napa Valley. By the middle of summer in 2009, major wineries and especially high-end esoteric wineries
were facing severe sales shortages. The main strategy those wineries employed
was not to lower prices, but to make less wine, forcing them to sell simply gorgeous lots on the spot market. In the previous year, I sampled perhaps 65 wines to make the Gold Medal winning 2006 Cabernet Family. For the 2007 version, I looked at well over 150 wines!
The result was the most powerful, silkiest, most complex wine to date at the same price point.
The Vintage: 2007 may go down as a great vintage for the wineries that were typically severe in
their vineyard practices, with even solid wines possible from standard vineyard practices.
Growing conditions in Napa Valley were ideal. The crop size was moderate
to good, but nowhere near the huge ’05 vintage.
Initial impact is of a bright rich dark fruit/cherry aroma. On the palate,
the wine is best described as unbelievably silky smooth, almost lush in texture, with typical cassis/plum/currant flavors. The finish is unusually complex, with earth loam/moderate tannin/slight pomegranate
mix. Fully powerful this wine is a great harmony of beguiling aromas, soft textures
and a complex lingering finish.
The Specifics: The bulk of the Cabernet Sauvignon was from a tremendous winery, whose wines consistently
score amongst the best in the valley. 22 barrels were purchased from the lot,
which were uniformly stored in 1 year old Taransaud barrels. This one lot is
the heart of the wine, with its silky plush mouthfeel. Cabernet Franc came from
two sources. The main lot was from a hillside vineyard with western exposure,
which pushes the fruit towards ripeness and bigger fruit aromatics. The second
Franc was a tiny 2 barrel lot from a vineyard from the southern part of the valley, which gives structure and spice to the
forward section. The Petit Verdot came in a small 5 barrel lot from the Pope
Valley section of Napa County. Fully ripe, it clearly shows up as the finishing
power to the wine. The small amounts of Merlot and Malbec were pre-blended into
the various components listed above and give the wine harmony and a touch of extra complexity.
Gain Bay 2007 Cabernet Family
TA:6.00 g/L Alc.:14.4% pH: .84
VA: .78 g/L Cases Produced:850
Bottled July 30, 2009 Suggested retail: $20.00
Cabernet Sauvignon 54%, Cabernet Franc 25%, Petit Verdot
15%, Merlot 3%, Malbec 3%