Bay 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Family is the fourth vintage for our Cabernet Family,
and it may very well be considered the finest cuvee to date.
Overview: After the ’07 blew out over the Fall of 2009, I started looking at samples early, in January and
February, 2010 with little luck. Finally in March, suppliers started lining up. As I sat down with just the first 30-40 samples for all varieties, some of the best
wines I’ve tried to date were sitting on my table. Stunning Cabernet and
Franc, the key components, were staring me in the eye. All that was left was
to go back to my best Petit Verdot supplier and pry 6 barrels loose and the best wine to date was all set. Bottled in St. Helena in mid-April, this wine is exactly what a negociant looks for; huge aroma of berry,
silken texture, bold fruit flavors and a lingering complex finish. It’s
a classic Gain Bay wine.
The Vintage: 2008 in Napa Valley was nuts. From a worst-in-decades frost early on, coupled with abnormally low rainfall, then tremendous heat spikes
during flowering and harvest, it was a very challenging year. The crop size was
moderate. Harvests dates were all over the board; an impossible to predict vintage. But for the discerning blender, 2008 presented an abundance of choices and flavors
and, once again with skillful blending, outstanding wine was possible.
The Wine: Initial impact is of a huge core of dark fruit aroma. On the
palate, the wine is best described as unbelievably silky smooth, with a velvety texture.
Flavors of cassis/plum/and berry bound from the glass. The finish is unusually
complex, with lovely moderate tannins, and slight pomegranate tones. Fully powerful,
this wine’s beguiling aromas, soft textures and a complex lingering finish are exquisite.
Specifics: Cabernet Franc is the heart of the aroma and, not since the 2005
vintage has something this berry-like shown up. The Cabernet Franc, and the Malbec
(3%) blended into it, is 100% Yountville appellation fruit, aged oaks from various forests, but all older ’05 barrels
– perfect! The Cabernet Sauvignon came from 3 sources. The main lot (40% of the total wine) was a blend of 60% from Rutherford, 25% from the eastern hills of
the mid-valley, and the rest, 16%, from St. Helena. This cuvee is the source
of the mid-palette softness. A small block of 260 gallons, brimming with juicy,
jam-like currant flavors came from Calistoga, and rides on top of the soft texture.
The last lot (just 3%) is from the sole barrel off my father’s little vineyard in St. Helena – pure power
here! The Petit Verdot was a small 300 gallon lot from Mt. Veeder. Fully ripe, the PV clearly shows up as finishing power to
Gain Bay 2008 Cabernet Family
TA:6.00 g/L Alc.:14.38% pH: 3.75 VA: .6 g/L Cases Produced:825 Bottled April 20, 2010 Suggested
Varietal Make-up: Cabernet
Sauvignon 55%, Cabernet Franc 27%, Petit Verdot 15%, Malbec 3%