2002 Ladera Lone Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5L
93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
The 2002 Ladera Lone Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon typifies both the excellent vintage of 2002 and the terroir of Ladera Lone Canyon Vineyard. Lone Canyon Vineyard is a Ladera estate vineyard located in the western hills of the Napa Valley looking west at Mt Veeder. The total acreage on Lone Canyon Vineyard is 480 acres, but only 75acres are suitable for planting to grapes because of the topography. The vineyard is steep to very steep with elevations up to 1,100 feet above sea level. The climate is relatively cool, primarily because of its elevation, but also due to its southerly location in Napa Valley. The vines are naturally balanced and yields range from 1 to less than 3 tons per acre. The soils are very well drained, clay loam of moderate depth.
The older vines were planted in the mid 1980's, on St George rootstock. The clones used are not exactly known, but the budwood was taken from vineyards in Oakville and is probably clone 7. The younger vines (30% of the blend) were planted in 1998 and 1999 to clones 4, 6 and 337, using 3309, SO4 and 140R rootstocks and are situated on very steep, terraced slopes.
The 2002 growing season started out to be fairly normal, with only slightly cooler temperatures during the growing season. It seemed as if it would be a later than normal harvest, until Labor Day. Then the temperatures rose into the upper 90’s, and harvest began very quickly. It was a struggle to keep the grapes on the vine to wait for full maturity, and to keep them from dehydrating in the heat. In the end, the warm weather proved to be exactly what was needed for ripening the grapes quickly, and for producing high quality Cabernet Sauvignon. The harvest for Lone Canyon Cabernet started on September 13 and ended on October 10.
Winemaking and Tasting Notes:
After crushing, the grapes were cold soaked for 5 days before the beginning of fermentation. Fermentation was then started with various native and some commercial wine yeasts. The fermentation lasted 14 days, on average, followed by 0 to 7 days of extended skin contact, depending on the intensity of the wine at this stage. The wine was then drained from the skins and the skins pressed into several press fractions, depending on taste. The wine was barrel aged for 22 months in new (70%) and 1 to 3 year old barrels all of French oak. The wine was bottled August 18, 2004.
The 2002 Ladera Lone Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon is very typical of the Lone Canyon Vineyard wines---deep, rich and dark flavors, with an extracted bramble fruit aroma and hints of spice and herbal notes. The texture of the wine, a heritage to its mountain location, is very rich and highly extracted with an abundance of powerful, but velvety tannins. The 2002 Lone Canyon is even more powerful than previous vintages and will be noted for its rich structure, varietal expression, and muscular tannins.
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