The grapes enjoyed an outstanding growing season. Very warm days and cool summer nights allowed steady flavor development and good acids in the fruit. The grape berries were smaller than normal thus creating more intense flavors. The Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested in late September and October when the grapes displayed perfect balance and sweet, ripe flavors.
All of the fruit was picked by hand and gently destemmed before being fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Systematic pump overs and some extended maceration allowed excellent flavor and color extraction. The wine was aged in a combination of American and French oak barrels for 20 months. Merlot was added to the final blend to enhance the body and a smaller percentage Petite Verdot was included to add spice to the aroma and complexity to the flavor.
This Cabernet displays graceful aromas of blackberry, violet and vanilla. This stylish wine has attractive flavors of berry, plum and mocha that linger well past the long, smooth finish of this distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is worthy of aging for five to seven years but is also delicious to enjoy now.
Whitehall Lane Winery
We are a small, family owned winery in Napa Valley's historic Rutherford appellation. We own approximately 110 acres of prime Valley-floor vineyards including the Leonardini Vineyard in St. Helena and are committed to making the finest Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Reserve wine.
The winery continues to receive accolades and awards for producing some of the greatest wines in the world. In Wine Spectator's year-end ranking of wines, Whitehall Lane has been honored an unprecedented three times in five years for producing wines rated among the top five in the world. The winery has also been voted Winery of the Year from the Quarterly Review of Wines and Wine and Spirits Magazine.
In our short history, Whitehall Lane has developed into a world-class winery. The efforts of the Leonardini Family are evident in the recent run of accolades from wine publications but are even more apparent in the beautifully made, elegant wines we continue to make.
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It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.