William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 97
The 2002 harvest was all about patience. The weather in key wine regions was unusually cool early in the growing season, while summer and fall saw extended heat spells. Schizophrenic weather meant that, by September, the grapes had developed high sugars, but often lacked mature flavors and tannins. Bud break began in early April. While parts of the valley saw some April frost and late rains in May, we were fortunate to have a long, mild growing season which allowed for excellent flavor development and uniform ripening. Two heat spells in September, one early in the month and one at the end of the month, enhanced the intensity of the colors and flavors. The resulting wine is classic Napa Valley in style: intense, forward fruit with substantial ripe tannins and an overall plush texture. These Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were 100% hand harvested during the last days of September to the middle of October 2002. Following an extractive fermentation, the wine lots underwent malolactic fermentation in tank, after which the young wines were racked to barrels for maturation. The Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 18 months in 100% French oak; of which 50% was new. This is an elegant and balanced wine. The aromas are excellent, combining dark blackberries well integrated with oak, cherry and some chocolate. The flavors of the juicy full body fill the mouth with a lush feeling of supple tannins that linger on a long finish. There is good concentration and the acidity and tannin structure give it great aging potential.