S.P. Drummer 2004 Blair Vineyard Cabernet/Cabernet Blanc

The Wine

This, the sixth vintage of S.P. Drummer wines, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (fifty-five percent) and Cabernet Franc (forty-five percent) from the Blair Vineyard located on the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley. The vineyard site is characterized by gravelly alluvial deposit soils that support excellent drainage and soil sustainability. This stellar wine is the best Blair Vineyard designate produced to date. Crop levels were down 25-35% during 2004 in The Napa Valley because of poor fruit set, yielding smaller clusters with smaller berries. Smaller berry size yielded an intensely aromatic wine with deep color and rich fruit flavors. The blend is lush and concentrated with a ripe stone fruit complexity and elegance.

Tasting Notes

The intensity of aromatics push forward with exotic flowers, violets and lavender reflective of fine Cabernet Franc. Ripe black cherries and plums with layered cassis aromas fill the glass and the senses. Flavors start as a layered core of ripe stone fruits that are deep and complex, full in the mouth, and yielding muscular, but velvety, tannins. The summation of both Cabernet varieties yields a lush and elegant wine.

Winemaking

Components were fermented and aged separately prior to blending and bottling. The Cabernet Sauvignon remained on the skins for thirty-three days to allow for tannin extraction and softening, while the Cabernet Franc was pressed at dryness for maximum aromatic retention. Consistent with the stylistic design of S.P. Drummer wines, in order to develop mouth feel and textural components, heavy doses of oxygen and multiple rackings were employed in the first year of the aging process. A minimal approach was employed in the second year, with only one or two rackings to ensure continued maturation and natural clarification. The wine was aged twenty months in fifty percent new French Oak.

Alcohol: 14.2%
Total Acid: 5.6 g/L
pH: 3.72
Total Cases: 560 12-bottle cases

The Winemaker

Scott Peterson is a seasoned winemaker and consultant with twenty years of winemaking in California, South America, and Europe. Scott graduated with a degree in Enology from the University of California, Davis, and has been a winemaker at Villa Mt. Eden, Conn Creek and Kendall-Jackson wineries. For the last ten years, he has worked as a consulting winemaker with an international clientele producing wines in California for several projects in both Napa and Sonoma counties, while at the same time working in Argentina as winemaking consultant for Nicolas Catena and in Chile under a joint venture in Colchagua Valley. In the same period, he has been active producing his own wines from select Napa and Sonoma Valley sites under the S.P. Drummer and Rumpus labels.