2005 SCARECROW [sold out]
The 2005 growing season was slightly cooler and wetter than normal in the Napa Valley, with a warm spell in March just as bud break was occurring. Substantial rains in May and June spurred rapid growth and high cluster counts. This necessitated multiple crop-reducing passes through the vineyard to promote quality and even ripening. Mild temperatures throughout summer and early fall were highly favorable for flavor development and maturation. The 2005 fruit is being likened to that of 1997, which saw a large yield of outstanding quality.
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested from four separate blocks of vines on the J.J. Cohn Estate between October 3 and October 12, 2005. Fruit from the Old Men vines was fermented in an open tank and punched down manually. The remaining lots were fermented using thrice-daily pump-overs and cap irrigations. The wines were aged in separate new French oak barrels for the first year, then blended and barrel aged an additional nine months. The finished wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered in June of 2007, with production totaling 881 cases.
A mix of intensely ripe cherry, blackberry and dark plum aromas blend with floral notes of lavender and rosewater and the sweet spice of milk chocolate, cinnamon bark and warm vanilla custard. As the wine opens in the glass, faint hints of caramel and honey emerge. The palate entry is dominated by dark berry and chocolate flavors, then broadens to include vanilla, fruit and forest floor notes. Texturally, the wine feels like heavy satin in the mouth, with only the finest-grained tannins adding structure to the finish.
The J.J. Cohn Estate is located on the western bench lands of the Napa Valley and yields fruit redolent of both the forest above and the lean soil below. The 25-acre vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, with several acres devoted to the esteemed Old Men vines. Estate elevations run from 225 feet on the eastern edge to 300 feet in the hillside block. Soils range from Bale clay loam and Pleasanton loam in the eastern section of the vineyard to gravelly loam at the base of the mountains—a miserly soil that doesn’t easily give sustenance to the vines. But the fruit proves the struggle is worthwhile. The differing vine ages and rootstocks and the variations in soil, exposure and trellising all combine to produce the rich complexity of Scarecrow.