Every vintage has its own personality; a unique history of climatic experience that shapes the flavor of the wine we taste in the glass. 2012 was preceded by two of the coldest vintages in a decade and was welcomed with open arms in the Paso Robles region as a return to the norm. Preseason rainfall was a bit on the shy side at 60% of normal, with a nice wet storm arriving at budbreak the first week of April. This rain brought welcome moisture for growth and suppressed chances of a spring frost. We now know that 2012 was the first of three years of drought in California and the Paso Robles area. Our typically warm springtime conditions brought rapid shoot growth, and irrigation was stopped in our vineyards in mid-June to promote seed ripening and to prevent the development of undesirable green, herbal characteristics in the fruit. A period of triple-digit temperatures added definition to the vintage in mid-August toward the end of veraison. That heat spike seemed to give the vintage an uptrend of tannin structure for Cabernet Sauvignon. Ideal warm and dry September weather pushed us to full ripeness, with harvesting for Hilltop Cabernet beginning on October 1st.
Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on a handful of select vineyard sites in the Paso Robles AVA. Blessed with long summer days of intense sunshine, our near 100°F daytime temperatures are followed with chilly, ocean-cooled nights in the 50s. These Cabernet vines are naturally stressed in the dry, often very gravelly, and sometimes lime shale-laden soils. Water is at a premium in these vineyards, enabling the viticulturist to fine-tune irrigation, producing the darkest fruit with resolved tannins year after year.
Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Rich intense fruit upon release, with structure to age comfortably for 7 to 10 years10 Years
Delicious with rosemary-seasoned ribeye, garlic roasted potatoes, parsnips and fennel.