A Question from Don Sritong : 2004 Jefferson Cuvee
"What is the barrel regime on the 2004 Jefferson Cuvee Cab? Any additional methods such as punchdowns, extended maceration, etc used?"
Don Sritong - Chicago, IL
Don, thanks for the question. We've been really excited about the 2004 Jefferson Cuvee. I think a lot of people have as we sold through it a pretty fast clip.
As for the winemaking, the 2004 vintage was unique in relation to recent years. It was a hot growing season, particularly towards the end when we had some really hot days towards the end of August and in early September. As a result, most of our red wines from the 2004 vintage are showing very exuberant fruit and ripe rich tannins.
The 2004 Jefferson Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon (JCCS) is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Cabernet Franc. This also is a unique blend for our JCCS, which typically has a fair bit of Merlot blended in. In 2004, our Merlot crop was down considerably due to a larger percentage of shatter than usual. Shatter is when the flowers don't set properly and the grape doesn't develop. It's an issue growers deal with some years with Merlot.
The Cabernet Sauvignon lots that we picked for our JCCS were harvested during the second week of September. All of the lots were fermented in stainless tanks and pumped over twice a day. I did not employ cold soaks or extended macerations in 2004. The wines were pressed at dryness and were aged in barrel for 22 months prior to bottling. Approximately 20% of the barrels were new, French oak.
I've been enjoying the 2004 JCCS over the last year and a half and think it should be drinking nicely through 2013-2014. We've recently released our 2005 JCCS and just bottled our 2006 JCCS last month. Stay tuned in the next month for tasting notes from a vertical of JCCS ...