Our 2010 Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is a beautifully classic expression of ripe Napa Valley Cabernet. This is certainly a big wine, and built to last. The overall impression, though, is one of exquisite proportion and balance. For a wine with this much power and concentration, it remains remarkably light on its feet. The nose offers up a beautiful, spicy mélange of red and black berries. While the fruit is central, there’s a lot more going on here. The aromas are fascinatingly complex, with an impressive array of flowers, spice, oak, mineral, and chocolate notes seamlessly woven together with fruit that is rich and ripe, yet particularly sophisticated. Interestingly, the vineyard’s traditional rocky, dusty mineral component seems to have been amplified by the vintage’s significantly reduced yields. One of our favorite aspects of this wine is its personality through the mid-palate. The deliciously juicy ripe fruit comes across as especially deep and complete, a fact we attribute to the unusually long hang time provided by the 2010 growing season. This is a Cabernet with substantial tannic substance, albeit with the polished velvety smoothness that is Rocca’s hallmark, and we expect it to age exceptionally well. The finish is pretty and elegant, with a spicy black cherry note that seems to linger forever. Rather than coating the palate, it gives the impression of dancing lightly across it.
Gold Medal, 8th Annual Cabernet Shootout;
92 Points, Gold Medal, San Francisco International Wine Competition
Silver Medal, Dallas Morning News/TEXSOMM Wine Competition
Our Grigsby Vineyard is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Yountville Cross Road and the Silverado Trail, where the Yountville AVA meets the Stags Leap District. The soil here is a light clay loam, generously sprinkled with small river rocks, on a site that enjoys a very special balance of climate conditions. During the day, warm temperatures and full sun exposure encourage the grapes to develop rich, ripe flavors and polished tannins. In the evening, cooling marine breezes and fog from San Pablo Bay dramatically reduce temperatures in the vineyard, allowing the fruit to retain aromatic complexity, bright natural acidity, and a distinctive elegance. The vineyard is farmed with the highest quality considerations, and the fruit clusters are hand-thinned to prevent crowding or shading for optimal development.
Our goal at Rocca is to make wines that reflect, as fully and faithfully as possible, the unique characteristics of the vineyards from which they come. To this end, all of our wines are made exclusively from our own organically farmed grapes, which we selectively harvest by hand in the cool hours of the night. Once the fruit has been picked, we take an emphatically hands-off, non-interventionist approach to winemaking. The grapes are destemmed as gently as possible, and are allowed to ferment with the vineyard's own indigenous yeasts. The wine is then gently pressed off, and transferred into barrels. This wine was aged for 20 months in tight-grain French oak barriques, approximately 75% new, before being bottled in July of 2012. The final blend is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, with approximately 73% sourced from blocks planted in 1999 and 27% from vines dating back to 1989.
In 2010, Rocca was presented with one of the coolest, longest, latest growing seasons in recent memory – perfect conditions for the extended “hang time” that we crave for our grapes. The vintage’s one significant challenge, twin heat spikes at the end of August and the end of September that resulted in some sunburn, proved to be a blessing in disguise. They left our crew plenty of time to make several passes through the vineyards, manicuring each individual cluster to remove any damaged fruit. The grapes that remained at harvest were incredibly pristine, and the reduced yields led to remarkable concentration, ripeness, and structure. The wines from 2010 are certainly built for the long haul. They are intense, powerful, viscerally compelling wines, beautifully kept in balance by the depth and textural elegance that resulted from the protracted growing season.