The 2009 vintage was one that was characterized by balance. Budbreak started right on schedule in mid March. Though we had only received about two thirds of our normal rainfall over the winter, we were fortunate to have a few small rain events in April and May which would tide the vines over through the beginning of summer. A fairly classic weather pattern set in over the summer time. We experienced only a few days of heat over 100 degrees, which was followed by our traditional fog pattern coming in from the bay. The fog continued through much of August which lengthened the early maturation stage of the fruit, giving ample time for the vines to create fruit deep in pigment, and complex in flavor. Several small heat events in September rounded out the flavor and tannin development, allowing us to begin picking the Merlot and Syrah. Gorgeous mild weather the first week of October provided perfect conditions for ripening the Cabernet, which we picked steadily through the middle of the month. We finished harvest just before the cold and wet weather hit on October 13.
The wines of this vintage are inky in color, fresh in flavor, and have incredibly silky and approachable tannins. The quality of the fruit in 2009 was uncompromised, and the wines reflect that purity of fruit and elegance of tannin.
Winemaker notes from Allison Tauziet:
"The 2009 Cariad blend is composed of 59% Cabernet, 22% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc all from Madrona Ranch and 9% Petit Verdot from Thorevilos vineyard. In order to make the best blend year after year, we work closely with our French consultant, Alain Raynaud, to give us his thoughtful insight. Slowly and meticulously we construct the blend together. Our 2009 Cariad is loaded with earthy notes of mineral, talc and gravel. With air, the wine unfolds with dark black cherry notes, meaty aromas of grilled steak, and barbecue and curry spices. The texture is oily on entry with an old world structure and bright acidity. Super rich and definitely brooding, this wine has a lot of stamina. A long lingering finish lets the experience continue. I would recommend a minimum of 5 to 7 years of aging in the cellar before opening. This has everything it needs to age gracefully."
We released 580 cases of the 2009 "Cariad" Napa Valley Red Wine in March 2013.