2014 Windfall Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
A timeless wine from the famed Rutherford appellation, our Windfall Vineyard Cabernet is fermented partially in barrel, a labor intensive practice which is only practicable because of the small quantities we produce. Lovingly crafted to John and Nat Komes’ most discriminating specifications, this is a wine to enjoy now and to cellar, to return to again and again as it evolves and deepens.
Owned by the Komes family since 1986, our Windfall Vineyard in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley hosts just 2.2 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon on organically-farmed, rocky bale loam soils. The vines are tightly spaced, creating competition for nutrients and lowering their overall production. Tended by hand with copious canopy management and culling to preserve only the finest clusters, Windfall consistently produces low yields of beautifully rich and concentrated Cabernet grapes.
One hundred percent handpicked and sorted, the grapes for this vintage were harvested in one lot and placed in a combination of small stainless steel vessels and French oak barrels for cold soak and fermentation. Barrel fermenting red wines is an unusual practice, partly because it’s so labor intensive. But with small lots such as this it can be achieved, and we love how the oak interacts with the juice, softly and gradually extracting color, flavor and tannin. We also like how the wood and wine tannins start to integrate at this early phase. After fermentation, the free run wine was taken off the lees and returned to barrel where it aged for 21 months. The wine was bottled without fining.
Although 2014 saw the continuation of California’s drought, heavy rains in late February and early March gave the vines plenty of water as they emerged from dormancy. A warm, relatively frost-free spring allowed bud break, flowering and fruit set to proceed without incident, and warm, dry weather throughout the summer brought the grapes through veraison to perfect ripeness. A relatively early harvest capped of a near-perfect growing season. 2014 was the third outstanding vintage in a row for Napa Valley, one that produced wines of enormous concentration, depth and flavor.
Our Windfall Cabernet Sauvignon opens with dark fruit notes of blackberry, black currant and ripe black cherry, expanding in the mouth and coating the palate with deeply satisfying flavor. The beautifully integrated French oak expresses itself in undertones of vanilla, espresso and cedar, and there’s a hint of dusty rose in the background. With polished tannins, generous texture and an overall silky personality, this is well proportioned Cabernet Sauvignon that finishes with lingering notes of dark fruit, sweet oak and spice. Drink now through 2030 for optimum enjoyment.
The Wine Advocate
"As for the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Windfall Vineyard, this is a slightly deeper, more brooding style of Cabernet Sauvignon, but still elegant, with sweet, refined and gentle tannins, impressively pure blue and black fruits, a judicious touch of oak, and a medium to full-bodied, round and gentle mouthfeel and texture. This is high-class winemaking aiming for total equilibrium and balance. Drink it over the next 10-15 years."
—Robert M. Parker, Jr.
"Very pretty currant and berry character with underlying dark-chocolate and stone character. Medium to full body and a fruity finish. Yet always reserved. Very pretty now but shows potential to age." May 2017
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Rutherford, Napa Valley
Aging: 21 months in French oak barrels
Production: 85 cases