September Domestic Wine: 2010 Picket Fence Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, CALIFORNIA

“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.”-John Ed Pearce

Picket fences expand across the Sonoma and American landscape signifying home in its many forms. Picket Fence Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, is grown on the slopes and hillsides of Sonoma’s prized Cabernet Sauvignon growing region on family-farmed vineayrds. Rich aromas of blackberry pie, strawberry and black currant play against chewy tannins, ripe fruit flavors and a satisfying finish of French oak layers on vanilla and spice, creating a complex, mouth-filling wine from Sonoma’s Alexander Valley.

Vineyards: The Alexander Valley AVA sits at the top of Sonoma County with about 15,000 acres of much prized vineyards. Within the 76,000 total acres of this AVA, there are a variety of microclimates supporting a substantial range of grape varieties. While Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme on the gravelly terrain of the valley floor, the Alexander Valley AVA also produces notable Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Just enough coastal fog finds its way up the Russian River Valley to create cool evening and morning conditions. This, however, gives way to hot mid-day temperatures in what is overall a relatively warm growing area.

Fermentation and Aging: After a short cold soak and a warm 10-day fermentation, the must was pressed and settled. We chose medium toast, 100% French oak for this wine and aged it for 19 months. The French oak helps tame the sometimes-rustic tannins which come from Alexander Valley Cabernet while contributing to the round, flavorful finish.

Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcohol: 13.5% by volume

Tasting Notes: “This wine has classic Sonoma Cabernet characteristics of cassis, green olive and hints of chocolate. French Oak aging contributes vanilla, clove and hazelnut aromas which create a unique foil for the robust blackberry and raspberry fruit flavors leading to a round, flavorful finish. Pair with aged and semi-hard cheeses, or try lamb with a dry rub of rosemary, shallots and fruity olive oil.”— Alison Crowe, Winemaker

Food Pairings: Pair with aged and semi-hard cheeses, or try lamb with a dry rub of rosemary, shallots and fruity olive oil.

Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “This Cab is ripe and rich with bold layers of intensity. A strong, firm structured wine here. Picket Fence truly packs a punch, and over delivers in terms of quality! Perfect with grilled meats, especially lamb or any other protein on the barbeque. You will start the fall season off right with this wine. Enjoy!”-JL