Early seasonal rains were short of average, but the timing was ideal for vine health and wine quality in 2016. Every phenological marker, from budbreak in spring to bloom and veraison in the summer, occurred 1 to 2 weeks earlier than normal. Cabernet buds pushed around the middle of March, following heavy rains earlier in the month. The vine canopy growth propelled through the spring, bouyed by additional light rains in April and an ideal bloom period in early May. Tannin structure for 2016 was amplified by a warm veraison period beginning the third week of July. Good ripening weather brought the Hilltop Cabernet harvest in early, with our highest elevation blocks harvested the second week of October showing the dark color and ripe fruit flavors this wine is known for.
Our 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 by 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, resulting in the darkest fruit with resolved tannins year after year.
Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California
Bright fruit upon release, with the structure to age comfortably for 7 to 10 years.10 Years
Delicious with rosemary-seasoned ribeye and garlic roasted potatoes with parsnips and fennel.