Cain Five 2015 Spring Mountain District Napa Valley

James Suckling


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95 pts James Suckling -  A juicy yet subtle red with spices, walnuts, chocolate and hints of currants. Complex. Medium to full body. Creamy and polished tannins span out on the palate. Flavorful and beautiful finish.

Harvest & Varietal Information

Vineyard: 100% Cain Vineyard, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley

Varieties: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec

Estate Grown—Estate Bottled

Some three decades ago, in 1989, we offered to the world the first vintage of Cain Five—the 1985. Now, thirty years later, we’re thrilled to release the 2015 Cain Five. A lot can happen in thirty years. Many wineries (most?) haven’t been around that long. Some have come and gone. For us at Cain, it all began forty years ago, and today we think it’s just the beginning.

Coming off the last of a series of drought years, 2015 gave us the lowest yield since 1990—yields of less than one ton per acre—almost unheard-of throughout the world of wine. There were many factors. Although the prior years had been relatively dry, in 2015 we had enough rain, however the rain came early in the Winter and was followed by a dry Spring leading to an early budbreak. This early start to the cycle meant that flowering came early too. For us on the mountain, an early bloom can be difficult because it might occur with the Cain Vineyard enveloped in clouds. This was the case in 2015 and so that June the flowers set little fruit.

A low yield is traditionally associated with high quality. This case is no exception, however, a vintage with few berries, small berries, and small clusters has its own challenges…such as too much of a good thing. From tiny berries grown on a mountaintop, it’s easy to produce a wine that is inky black, hard and tannic, or else massive and sweet.

But, not to worry, at Cain our goal has always been balance and grace. And we know our vineyard and the wines it can give. In the vineyard, we watch the vines carefully in order to catch the moment of ripeness before the sugars skyrocket. In the cellar, we handle the fruit gently, and conduct the maceration carefully to allow the berries to yield their essence before the wine becomes clumsy and heavy.

In 2015 the result is a generous, dense, focused wine, with the sun-drenched herbal and savory notes of our wild mountain Cain Vineyard, and satisfying and mouth-filling on the palate. The 2015 Cain Five drinks beautifully today, and will continue to do so for twenty years.



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