Vintage 2016
Wine Type Red
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Trevor Durling

Beaulieu Vineyard Clone 6 is an exceptional selection of Cabernet Sauvignon that produces high quality fruit intensely expressive flavor. Grown in our famed Napa Valley vineyards, Clone 6 grapes are a key component of our classic Reserve Cabernets. Each year, BV winemakers preserve the unique character of clone 6 in an exclusive, very limited bottling. This highly extracted wine presents rich muscular notes and aromas of dried black currants that frame an exotic palate of ripe wild berries, coffee, anise and cedar. 

Tasting Notes

This very limited bottling of the 2016 vintage Clone 4 Cabernet Sauvignon, demonstrates the unique characteristics of a wine made from vines planted to this single, outstanding clone during the exceptional 2016 vintage. Showing a more red fruit oak-driven profile than previous vintages, this Cabernet is restrained and elegant with red berry fruit aromas and flavors of black cherry, cassis, and briary smoked strawberry interwoven between more floral notes of violet and jasmine blossom. Crème Brûlée and caramel notes also come through from the toasty oak nuances leading to an extraordinary lengthy mouthwatering finish. The seamless satin-like tannins are round and lush as well as incredibly focused. This Cabernet is pointed and powerful, exhibiting strength and intensity, but also has a delicate balance with energy and finesse. The fruit is cradled by a line of vibrant acidity which weaves intricately, supporting the fruit and tannin structure. While enjoyable now, this wine will continue to develop complexity in the bottle and will age well for another 20+ years when stored at ideal cellar temperatures.

Vintage Notes

The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Cabernet with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.

Vineyards

In the 1880s, UC Davis professor Eugene Hilgard planted clone 6, which is also called the Jackson clone, at the university's field station at Jackson in the Sierra Foothills. It was abandoned until the last few decades, when it was rediscovered. In 1980, we began a 14-year series of trials in conjunction with UC Davis, to identify Cabernet Sauvignon clones best suited to our Rutherford Bench terroir. Two clones (numbers 4 & 6) were ultimately selected for grafting to rootstocks planted in the well-draining, alluvial fan soils of our estate vineyard. As a component of our Georges de Latour and other reserve Cabernet Sauvignons, Clone 6 has notably small loose clusters and small berries that yield highly concentrated, distinctive flavors structured by muscular tannins. Often referred to as our mountain fruit on the valley floor, this creates a Cabernet that is very concentrated with more structure and tannin.

Winemaking

At our state-of-the-art winery, dedicated exclusively to the production of our Reserve wines, we utilized the latest technology to destem and sort the berries of this clone to retain only the highest quality fruit. Cold soaking of the must and gentle pump overs mixed the flavor-rich skins with the juice. Upon completion of primary fermentation, we pressed and transferred the wine to new French oak barrels for in-barrel malolactic fermentation and aging. Because of the uniqueness of the expression of this clonal selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, we treat this wine as a special lot or single vineyard wine.
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