Fortress Knights Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Blend: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Syrah, 2% Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Originally from Arkansas, Susan Lueker grew up on a family farm and thought she would be a scientist and never a farmer. She earned degrees in Chemistry and Medical Child Development at the University of Missouri and was working at the renowned Johns Hopkins University pursuing a graduate degree when she realized something was missing – she wanted a balanced career that was more in line with her interests in nature. After great consideration, Susan transferred to the University of California, Davis where she took her first Enology class and fell in love with the vineyards and the winemaking process.
Susan had found her calling, the perfect combination of science, art, people, and nature. She graduated with a degree in Viticulture and Enology and her first job in the winemaking industry was at Sonoma Valley’s small-production Hacienda Winery where she gained valuable hands-on experience. She continued to hone her skills at Dry Creek Vineyards before joining Simi winery, where she spearheaded all winemaking efforts for almost two decades. In 2019, Susan made a transition to Jackson Family Wines as the head winemaker for Fortress while also specializing in Bordeaux varietals for the Kendall-Jackson brand.
At Fortress, Susan brings more than 25 years of expertise and experience in Sonoma County winemaking to the forefront. She has a keen talent for crafting wines that are complex, balanced, and food-friendly.
Susan lives in Healdsburg with her Chef husband, their two dogs, and two cats. She enjoys foods that pair well with wines, watching sports and exercise.
A small and picturesque valley separating Napa Valley on its south border and Alexander Valley to its north, Knights Valley excels in similar varieties as the two aforementioned appellations, namely red Bordeaux varieties and blends, as well as Sauvignon blanc. Originally established by Beringer Vineyards, today several outstanding producers claim acreage here. The circadian cooling effects of the nearby Pacific Ocean create a nighttime respite for vineyards during the hot growing season.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.