Freemark Abbey 2013 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
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The Origins of the Winery: Established in 1886 by "An intrepid Victorian widow who could often be spotted riding," Josephine Tychson built and operated the original redwood cellar on Freemark Abbey estate, cultivated the land, and became the first female winemaker on record in Napa Valley.
Tasting Notes: The 2013 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is dark ruby in color. The fruit aroma is ripe cherry, blackberries and Santa Rosa plum. There is an earthiness in the complexity, like mushroom, smoked meats, spearmint, coffee and milk chocolate. The oak is nicely integrated with a hint of cinnamon bun. The flavor is full, soft and lush with cranberry and cherry like finish. The tannins are well resolved balancing, a lovely wine with good acidity, body and texture.
Knights Valley & Kellogg Vineyard (the grapes are from 100% Kellogg Vineyard): It’s tempting to report that Knights Valley is one of the last, remote corners of Sonoma County that’s undeveloped, like a picture postcard of the sleepy agricultural valleys of an older California. But that isn’t the whole story: Knights Valley is one of the few areas that may have actually become more rural over the last century.
Formerly part of a Mexican land grant holding of one Jose de los Santos Berryessa, Mallocomes Valley was renamed for Thomas B. Knight, a New England immigrant said to have participated in the Bear Flag Revolt.
Once the valley had a small town, in any case, founded by real estate speculator F. E. Kellogg in the 19th century. Before Prohibition, grapes were major business in the valley.
But the post office, general store, and the town of Kellogg burned down in the 1960s. When vineyards and wineries eventually returned to the valley, they brought no tasting rooms, no hotels, and no commercial development of any kind with them.
However, today there are 2,000 vineyard acres in Knights Valley, which earned AVA status in 1983.
About the 2013 Growing Season: Following 2012, there was another “near perfect vintage.” A warm, dry winter and spring brought early bud break. The dry weather helped lower canopy vigor and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set under sunny skies. With one heat spike in late June, early July, the growing temperatures were near ideal for vine growth and ripening. The season as a whole, was a good two weeks early on the average and really quite dry. There were two rain storms in mid-September that didn’t amount to any consequence, as most of the thin skinned varieties came in early.
Blend: 83.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.2% Merlot, 4.4% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot
Aging: 27 months in 41% new French oak
Cases Produced: 655 cases
Director of Winemaking: Ted Edwards
Assistant Winemaker: Jesus Alfaro