2007 was a very dry year in Paso Robles, with the seasonal total for rainfall registering a scant 4.4 inches. Fortunately, temperatures were mild and did not exacerbate the extremely dry conditions. Vine canopies were small, as were cluster and berry size, resulting in some of the lowest yields we have seen in the last ten years. These natural limitations imposed on the vines resulted in remarkably good cabernet sauvignon fruit quality, with outstanding color and flavors. For the second consecutive year, we incurred no significant heat events after veraison and had very mild weather conditions straight through harvest, allowing each block to be picked at optimal flavor development.
|Appellation:||Paso Robles AVA,
San Luis Obispo County
|Composition||80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Sirah, 4% Malbec,
4% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc
|Harvest Dates:||October 13 through 25, 2007|
|Process:||Hand and machine-harvested.
Select lots were berry sorted on Vaucher Beguit Mistral to remove shot berries and sunburned fruit. Crushed to small, stainless steel fermenters.
|Harvest Chemistries:||Avgs of 26.6° Brix, pH
3.46, total acidity 0.51g/100ml
|Vinification:||Yeast: Lallemand D-80, Pasteur Red
Fermentation: Small stainless steel tanks and open-top tanks
Temperature: Peak fermentation at 92°F
Maceration: 6 to 10 days
Malo-Lactic: completed with Viniflora Oenos
Maturation: 18 months in 225 liter French oak barrels
Barrel Type: French oak Chateau Ferré-style barrels
Forest: Center of France, Allier
Coopers: Sylvain, Vicard, Saury and Demptos
|Post-Maturation:||11 months bottle age prior to
|Bottling Chemistries:||pH: 3.71
Total Acidity: 0.69 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.6 % by vol
Residual Sugar: Dry
|Cellaring:||Delicious upon release, but has the structure to age for up to 10 to 15 years.|
The 2007 Hilltop is dark colored with red-purple hues. Aromas of
black plum, cherry and fresh fig are wrapped in a bouquet of roasted
hazelnut, coconut and Italian espresso. This wine offers large palate
volume in a very soft package with a supple finish. This new world
wine showcases the best of the varietal fruit, with complexity and
structure reminiscent of the finest of Bordeaux.
—Steve Peck, red winemaker