The 2014 growing season in the Napa Valley was defined by the driest winter in recorded history. Almost black garnet in color the wine exhibits layers of black berry, cherry, cassis and plum. There is a core minerality with violet and blueberry tones. The oak is well integrated and has nice toast aroma with hints of vanilla and spice. On the palate, the wine is lush and firm showing supple well integrated tannins. This wine can be enjoyed now and will age for 15 years. It is very elegant.
Vineyards range from our bench land site in Yountville to Northern St. Helena including western alluvial fans in Rutherford, mountain fruit from Spring Mountain and the cool volcanic growing region of Coombsville. The clonal selection includes Cabernet Sauvignon 337, 4 and 6. The soils include alluvial fan and volcanic rock at an elevation between 70– 548.6 meters (200–1800 feet) above sea level.
Fruit was rigorously hand-sorted and fully destemmed to small stainless steel tanks with light crushing. Cold soaks (5-7 days), warm fermentations between 29– 32°C (85-90°F), and moderate pumpovers twice each day. Total skin contact ranged from 19-34 days with all fermentations being carefully basket pressed and put to barrel on full fermentation lees for malolactic fermentation (ML). Racking was twice per year with only one assemblage being done to allow the blend to “marry” in barrel. Barrels for final blend were hand selected by taste. Native yeast and ML used with only small lots conducted using cultured Bordeaux isolates. Bottled without filtration.
- Aging: 65% new barrels; 100% French Oak.
- Total time in barrel: 18 months
- pH: 3.8
- TA: 6.0 g/L
- Alcohol: 14.6%
Lots of ripe berries and hints of dark chocolate with a citrus-peel undertone. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh and clean finish. Very pretty. Drink in 2019. - James Suckling 92 Points
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Yao Ming is a blend of 95.33% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. This has an outstanding aromatic profile of cedar wood, blackcurrants, licorice and forest notes followed by a supple-textured, medium to full-bodied, round, juicy wine that can be drink now or cellared for 10-15 years. This is well-made, clean, pure and well-balanced. - Robert Parker 90 Points