The Carpenter Vineyard is located just east of the city of Napa, at the base of the Vaca mountain range in the Coombsville area. The soils are composed of deep, volcanic, gravelly loam, which drains well throughout the winter months. Cool growing conditions contribute heavily to the character of this wine. Fog hangs over the vineyard until mid-morning and prevailing winds from the bay move through in the afternoon. The summer days rarely reach extreme temperatures, so the vines enjoy nice, temperate conditions. These cooler conditions allow for slow ripening and long "hang time", which helps develop tannin maturity. This vineyard is one of the last to be harvested each year.
The spring of 1999 arrived later than usual and flowering occurred during cool weather, reducing crop production. The weather pattern was a blessing for this vineyard, since it is located in a cooler area and would have had difficulty ripening a heavier crop. A mild summer was followed by a warm, relatively dry fall, which allowed the grapes to further develop and mature their tannins before being picked in October.
In 1999, the Carpenter Vineyard produced a Cabernet of great depth and volume, packaged in the bold, impressive style of the vineyard. Very similar in profile to hillside fruit, aromas of cassis, tea and herb meld into currant, tobacco and dark chocolate notes with a solid middle palate supported by firm, rich tannins. This tight core of fruit surrounded by fleshy tannins is the signature of the vineyard.