The Cabernet vines in our Big Shot Vineyard are planted on steep terraces that perfectly capture the sun (but avoid the too-intense late-afternoon rays, preserving the grape's elegant Bordeaux character). Gravelly-loam soils provide optimal drainage. As for the harvest, 2018 was a winemaker’s dream. Following replenishing, drought-ending rains, we had a long and even growing season. We harvested perfect grapes by hand on the morning of Oct. 8.

The grapes were de-stemmed into an open top fermenter, and native yeast fermentation began eight days later. We punched down by hand, and at dryness, drained the free-run juice directly into French Taransaud barrels, one third of which were new. Native malolactic fermentation was complete by late February. The wine remained in barrel on fine lees for a total of 21 months and was bottled on Aug. 2, 2019.

Deep garnet in color. Intense aromas of black currant and plum, toasty cedar, and sage complement the savory, earth-driven flavors in this elegant vintage of Big Shot Cabernet. Lush tannins and juicy acidity make it accessible for early enjoyment, although the wine will continue to evolve in bottle over the next few years. Alex likes it with steak au poivre and other red meat dishes.