Bench ''Knights' Valley'' Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 - Sonoma, CA
Varietals: 100% Cabernet
Deep purple in the glass, the nose opens with dark, earth tones reminiscent of forest fruit, cocoa and crushed rock. The palate is broad with fine, elegant tannins followed by flavors of blackberry, cherry, pie crust and a lingering hint of coffee.
This vintage is sourced exclusively from benchland vineyards in Sonoma County, where the valley floor transitions to foothills. The vast majority of grapes still comes from Knights Valley as in previous vintages, but those are now blended with a minority of grapes outside the AVA in Mendocino. Totem Ridge vineyard is located in Southern Knights Valley high up on the Mayacamas Range. There are 7 different blocks of Cabernet, all on different exposures and elevations. Petrified Forest Vineyard is on the backside of the same mountain and benefits from longer hang times due to an eastern exposure.
A manual harvest took place October 4-19th, 2018. Grapes were de-stemmed without crushing, then transferred by gravity to stainless steel fermentation tanks. After a long cold soak, the must was allowed to warm and ferment with indigenous yeast. Dan encouraged the fermentations to hit the low 90sF for at least two days for added extraction. The new wine was pressed off just before going dry to minimize harsh, alcoholic extraction. Malolactic fermentation was left to complete indigenously. The wine was aged for 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new.