By all accounts, 2011 was a difficult vintage. Not only was the growing season uncharacteristically cold, two heavy storms at critical times affected the harvest. The first rainy cold snap in early June, resulted in limited fruit set in certain vineyard blocks, which reduced overall yield. The second storm, at the beginning of October, triggered a botrytis outbreak in several of the vineyards. Although the affected clusters were quickly removed, this further diminished fruit yield for the season. The upside to having a smaller crop, however, is that the grapes develop a more intense fragrance and concentration.
Over the last few years, Inglenook has continued to refine the methods they use in crafting their Cabernet Sauvignon in order to create the most elegant wine possible. Even though there has less fruit to work with this vintage, they were very particular about their selections. Likewise, they’re getting better aromatic expression from the grapes as a result of the new destemmer purchased, which is gentler on the fruit and causes less oxidation. They’ve also changed their fermentation techniques. Rather than using pump overs at scheduled intervals, each individual block was evaluated and considered which ones would benefit from added development. Together, these methods greatly enhance the quality of the Cabernet. This vintage, 50% of the barrels used were new oak, 85% French oak and 15% American oak.
Subtle and round on the palate, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask offers fragrant notes of boysenberries, cherries, black currant and leather. Flavor intensity increases on the mid-palate with beautiful impressions of red fruits, spices, and coffee. This vintage bestows a supple texture with soft tannins and smooth, even transitions, giving it a particularly elegant style.