Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Bosché Vineyard 1992
The decade of winemaking pushback, the 1990s saw the advent of such terms as “extended maceration” and “physiological ripeness.” Cabernet winemakers begin to rely on taste instead of vineyard analysis to call their picking dates and to use native yeast instead of the more conventional laboratory yeasts. Closer spacing, soil awareness and a large selection of cooperage become important. Winemakers no longer rely on formulas, forging their own hybrid of Old and New World techniques. In the vineyards, we experimented with different shoot positioning. At the winery, yeast selection became an artform. Rather than opting for the “crap shoot” of allowing micro flora to inoculate the juice, our winemakers instead began to carefully choose from various yeast strains to manipulate the fermentation (and finished wine) in different ways.
It began over a century ago as a vision shared by a handful of pioneers; those with an intimate knowledge of grapes and a deep respect for the land. This vision took root, was nurtured by skilled hands and ultimately resulted in one of the first premium wineries in the Napa Valley. Today, the wine of Freemark Abbey stands as a testament to what the rich earth of the Napa Valley is capable of creating when working in perfect harmony with nature.