The 2009 Cain Five is an exotic, one-of-a-kind wine. It’s all about where the fruit grows. Even on Spring Mountain, the Cain Vineyard is unique. Cradled in a bowl on the crest of the Mayacamas Range, vines are planted on exposures toward all points of the com- pass, at elevations ranging from 2100 feet down to 1400 feet, giving tremendous diversity within the vineyard. The ridges are windswept, although depending on which way the wind is blowing, some of the side-slopes are protected. The soils here are almost all uniformly thin and poor, derived from sandstone, shale, and clay. The vines are small, even scrawny, and the clusters are small and the berries are tiny. In spite of that, we have an embarrassment of aromas and flavors with which to work.
The complexity does not end in the vineyard, but continues on throughout our élévage in the bottle and in the cellar. We blend early to allow the wine to come together and to find its balance. Even after the vigorous fermentation of the harvest, the young wine is still alive with yeast and bacteria, still in the process of developing. Where most wineries want to arrest the process at this point, we tend the young Cain Five with an eye to letting it continue to develop and evolve in the barrel. And so, with the herbal “garrigue” of the Cain Vineyard comes truffles, a bit of earthiness, and some lovely floral notes of roses and jasmine. All of these elements come together in the bottle, but it takes time. Open some when it arrives and take your time to sit with it. You’ll see that this is a wine for today, next year, five years, ten years, and longer.
Harvest and Varietal Information
Cabernet Sauvignon 74% Malbec 8%
Cabernet Franc 7% Merlot 6% Petit Verdot 5%
100% Cain Vineyard, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
January 1, 2014