Judd's Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2003
"During harvest we stop picking by noon so that the grapes are as cool as possible. This cold soak' in a non-alcoholic medium (grape juice) seems to increase the fruitiness of the wine. We inoculate with yeast on day three or four, depending on the must temperature. From that point on, the fermentation itself increases the temperature of the must day by day. Once the temperature reaches the mid to high 80s, we begin to cool the must down slowly until at dryness it is back to ambient in the low 70s. Depending on how the tannins strike me, we may press before dryness, so there is no extended maceration, or if they seem excessive we may give them a few days of extended maceration after dryness. Extended maceration, in our opinion, while smoothing out some of the tannins reduces the up-front fruitiness and varietal character of the wine which is the charm of the Judd's Hill reds We use very little new oak in our aging process. Our favorite barrels are once used French oak which were used previously for chardonnay production. We aren't a big fan of oak, especially the blast one gets from a new and newly toasted oak barrel. A once used chardonnay barrel has had white wine in it for only nine months and has enough oak flavor left so that we can leave the reds in them for the whole 20 months they are in the barrel without the danger of over oaking." The philosophy behind Judd's Hill Napa Valley Cabernet is about blending from different vineyard sources to gain complexity in the wine. The goal of the father and son winemaking team, Art and Judd Finkelstein, is to make a perfectly balanced wine from the front of the palate to the back. Right from the start, the must on this wine is kept cool (between 65-75 degrees) and un-inoculated for three days. Inoculation occurs on day three and from this point on, the fermentation itself raises the temperature. Once the temperature reaches the mid to high 80s, the must begins to cool slowly until, at dryness, it is back to around 70 degrees. Art and Judd believe that extended maceration, while smoothing out some of the tannins, reduces the up-front fruit and varietal characters, which are the charm of the Judd's Hill wines. Extended maceration is used only if the tannins seem excessive. Not being fans of over-oaking, Art and Judd prefer to use very little new oak in the aging process. They prefer French oak barrels that have been used once for Chardonnay. A once-used Chardonnay barrel has had wine in it for only 9 months and has enough oak flavors left so that the reds can stay in them for the whole 20 months without the 'danger' of over-the-top oak flavors. Judd's Hill Cabernet is a sexy, elegant wine. The first impression is all about the fruit; lush and ripe and round. The tannins are soft and integrated but well-structured, allowing Judd's Hill Cabernet to age 10-15 years yet are eminently drinkable upon release. Judd's Hill Cabernet will complement steaks, spicy poultry dishes, cheddar or blue cheese, barbequed ribs and other red meats. Also, we've found this Cabernet Sauvignon to go especially well with Italian-influenced dishes. Production 1,006 cases This is a wonderful example of our philosophy of keeping the fruit as the star of the show. The wine shows distinct flavors of cranberry, coffee and clove. The wood is more of a nuance than a major characteristic that allows the intense hillside fruit to shine through. Soft tannins feel silky in the mouth and make this a superb complement to meals. Oak: Once used, French Oak
External Reviews for Judd's Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Wine Tasting NotesJudds Hill Cabernet is a sexy, elegant wine. The first impression is all about the fruit; lush and ripe and round. The tannins are soft and integrated but well-structured, allowing Judds Hill Cabernet to age 10-15 years yet are eminently drinkable upon release. Judds Hill Cabernet will complement steaks, spicy poultry dishes, cheddar or blue cheese, barbequed ribs and other red meats. Also, weve found this Cabernet Sauvignon to go especially well with Italian-influenced dishes.