Grain: The orientation of wood-cell fibers; the arrangement or direction of fibers in wood.
The Grain, our 2014 release from the Engelhard Vineyard, is a beautiful wine that stands shoulder to shoulder with our 2012 and 2013 Cabernet Sauvignons from this vineyard. Opaque and dark purple in color, it has a brooding powerful nose of blackberry, black cherry, dried herbs. The weighty, rich palate has loads of creme de cassis and milk chocolate framed nicely with fine dusty tannins. As is typical of our prior wines from the Engelhard Vineyard, the finish is carried beautifully by the acidity.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
2014 was the third year in a row of the drought cycle, which signaled an early harvest to most wine grape growers. Much to everyone's pleasure, we had a very wet Spring with above average temperatures kicking off the growing cycle about two weeks ahead of schedule and giving the soils a much needed replenishment after the abnormally dry Winter of 2013/2014. The early start transitioned all the way through the growing season and picks were called a couple weeks in advance of normal.
The three different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon from this property were all picked at night on October 9th. The well cared-for Engelhard Vineyard produced another pristine, balanced crop, and after being picked, the fruit arrived cold to the winery (only a few miles away) in fantastic shape.
Although the yields from this, our sixth consecutive harvest from the Engelhard Vineyard, came in lower than average overall, the quality of the 2014s is simply exceptional.
The Notes (From Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown)
2014s showed much more transparency than the 2013s. Vintage character dominated the 2013s, whereas varietal and site expression mark the 2014s which, for me as a winemaker, is a much more enjoyable experience. Wines took a little longer in tank to color up and concentrate so time on skins went from an average of 14-16 days to 18-19 days. The wines continued to concentrate in barrel, improving every time we sampled them.