2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beauregard Ranch
Santa Cruz Mountains
20% New French Oak
On the nose, the wine is ripe yet has an old world flare akin to a modern classified red wine from Bordeaux. There are notes of ripe black currants, black plum, cassis, leather, red tobacco, cedar, wet rocks, toasted oak and delicate oak spices. The palate is full bodied and multi-layered with a beautiful harmony between ripe fruit, oak, and earth flavors which reflect the nose. The finish is lengthy and fades slowly. I highly advise waiting until the wine has 7-8 years of bottle age to really discover the true beauty these wines have the ability to show. The fruit will eventually integrate, the savory notes will emerge, and the wine will slowly change and show a personality similar to top Bordeaux with a touch more flesh and texture on the palate. Only time will allow this, so be patient.
The Beauregard Ranch vineyard site was part of an original 160 acre vineyard and apple orchard planted in the early 1900’s. The vineyard was abandoned during prohibition and then resurrected in 1945 when retired Sherrif’s deputy Amos Beauregard purchased the property. It sits at an elevation of 1700 to 1850 feet on a southwest facing slope. Monterey Bay marine influences combine with sandy loam soil to produce wines with minerality and striking acidity. Plantings: Four acres Pinot Noir, clones: Pommard, 667 & 115. One acre Chardonnay, clone 4. Three acres Zinfandel, clone Primitivo. Four acres Cabernet Sauvignon, Dijon clone.
2018 was textbook perfect for our vineyards with slow ripening caused by a cooler growing season. The yields were light but that led to higher quality wines (in most cases). The last time we had harvests this late was 2010 which I remember vividly. The big difference between 2010 and 2018 is that we had no rain to speak of during the 2018 ripening season. The diurnal temperature shifts were quite extreme with the nights dipping into the high 40’s and the days warming to an average 65. This slow ripening leads to more fruit development and better physiological ripening for the berries while preserving acidity. By better physiologically ripening, I mean that the skins of the berries are thicker, the seeds are darker, and the stems of the clusters become more lignified (brown rather than green). In my career, I can name a few perfect vintages; 2002, 2012, and 2018 come to mind. This vintage is remarkable and my team put in 110% effort to craft the best wines that can be made from our family estate. I have selected rare and unusual barrels constructed in France which will hone these wine gems while they mature into wines I will be proud to put my family’s name on.
Cabernet ranks one of my most intense wines to make. First of all, the fruit is expensive to grow. Secondly, the amount of new French oak is astoundingly expensive. Then, there are two vintages in barrels, two vintages in bottles, one of which being the vintage being sold. I am holding on to three vintages behind the one I am selling. Quality Cabernet Sauvignon is a major commitment. Cabernet Sauvignon is attractive to me because it encapsulates the vintage for an extended period of time because of its incredible aging potential. I recently enjoyed a 1978 Cabernet from Beauregard Ranch with Erin Brooks from the Wine Advocate. This wine was older than her, and was the vintage that my grandfather grew when I was three years old. 2018 is 100% enjoyable now