"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 4 offers up expressive pure black currants and black cherry notes with underlying cedar, forest floor, tobacco, pencil lead and dried herb notes with hints of dusty earth and garrigue. The medium to full-bodied palate is firmly structured with a solid backbone of grainy tannins and just enough freshness supporting the dense, muscular fruit, finishing long and earthy. Needs about 3-4 years and should drink well for the next 20+. 670 cases were made." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate, October 2017
This very limited bottling of 2014 Clone 4 Cabernet Sauvignon demonstrates the unique characteristics of wine made from vines planted to this single, outstanding clone during an exceptional vintage. A deep garnet-purple, this Cabernet Sauvignon’s expressive aromas and generous, fruit-expressive flavors are filled with layers of juicy black cherry, black currant, and plum, followed by baking spice notes of nutmeg, clove, cedar and tobacco alongside a subtle brambly or savage (hence the grape's name) dried herb note on the finish. The wine is fresh and lively, with beautiful balance and acidity, interwoven into a Cabernet of great intensity and full, round and rich flavors which are structured by firm, yet supple, tannins that are nicely balanced with vanilla and oak spice from new French oak barrels. 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.
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 (4 and 6) were ultimately selected for grafting to rootstocks planted in the well-draining, alluvial fan soils of our estate vineyards. As a component of our Georges de Latour and other reserve Cabernet Sauvignons, Clone 4 gives the blend pronounced, lush, full flavors and has softer, more approachable tannins in its youth. Also known as the Mendoza clone, it was identified and isolated in Argentina and then brought to the United States. Known for its larger berries and tighter berry cluster, resulting in a Cabernet with lush, round and opulent style.
Dry, early and shaking is how 2014 will be remembered in Napa Valley, yet it had a silver lining with small, concentrated grapes and high quality. February’s rains brought the total rainfall up to “low, but adequate”, helping to relieve three years of drought conditions. Warm temperatures promoted early budbreak in spring and accelerated grape maturation. Just as harvest began, a dramatic 6.0 earthquake shook Napa Valley awake on August 24. We finished the very compact, plentiful harvest by mid-October and celebrated the vintage’s beautifully ripened grapes.
At our state-of-the-art winery, dedicated exclusively to the production of our Reserve wines, we hand sorted the destemmed berries of this clone to retain only the highest quality fruit. Cold soaking of the must and gentle punch-downs in open-top fermenters 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.