Heart of FAY Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical Set

Heart of FAY Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical Set

Cabernet Sauvignon

VINEYARDS & WINEMAKING

Winemaker Marcus Notaro crafted this wine to demonstrate the special characteristics of a specific section of FAY Vineyard. Hailing from the center, or heart, of the vineyard, the HEART of FAY Cabernet Sauvignon embodies the confluence of this wonderfully complex vineyard. 

In 2020, the HEART of FAY is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from FAY Vineyard. The fruit was primarily picked from Blocks 2C and 4N. The wine was aged for 19 months in 100% new French oak barrels and bottled with minimal filtration.

In 2019, the HEART of FAY is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from FAY Vineyard. The fruit was picked from Blocks 4, 5C and 5A for this vibrant and elegant wine. The wine was aged for 20 months in 100% new French oak barrels and bottled with minimal filtration.

In 2018, the HEART of FAY is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc from FAY Vineyard. We sourced fruit primarily from Blocks 6, 5C3 and 5B for this vibrant and elegant wine. The wine was aged for 19 months in 100% new French oak barrels.

VINTAGE

2020 was a dry and hot growing season, coupled with a global pandemic, and multiple wildfires made 2020 a year we won’t forget. Due to the dry winter, we started more tillage than normal in February to preserve soil moisture and reduce competition. Rain right at bloom interrupted fruit set and provided a “natural fruit thinning” that brought the crop in balance relative to the dry soil conditions. We were excited during the heart of the growing season, as vines were in balance, and the timing of impactful viticulture practices (leafing, crop adjustment, etc.) was nearly perfect. Several heat events, including a three-day heat spike over Labor Day weekend, led to an early harvest. This was the year of the LNU Complex Wildfire and the Glass Fire Complex. As we do every vintage, we taste grapes daily in the vineyards and back up what we are tasting with lab analysis. We are fortunate to have ready access to our own lab as well as the tools necessary to make educated picking, winemaking and bottling decisions, ensuring overall wine quality. The warm weather this vintage produced wines with a riper character. We are very pleased with the resulting wines from the 2020 vintage (although there won’t be as many bottles) to carry our legacy forward.  

In 2019, Spring in Napa Valley was wet with significant rain that increased canopy growth and caused some shatter during bloom in the vineyards. Our vineyard team worked diligently to balance canopies and fruit load, and to expose the fruit to the sun at the right time. Following this wet and cool start to the year that resulted in a lot of vigor, the summer gave way to near ideal growing conditions. Like 2018, a long growing season allowed for grapes to reach optimal ripeness. Yields were less than 2018 and harvest was later than usual. The main challenge this harvest was powering wineries with generators, as the power company shut off electricity to mitigate any potential fires due to high winds. Fires in upper Sonoma did not affect northern Napa Valley vineyards, and winds kept smoke out of the valley. Overall quality is quite high. Whites are aromatic and crisp, and Cabernet has beautiful dark fruit aromas, nice complexity, and more richness than 2018.

The 2018 season began with productive, late season rains that translated into strong vine growth throughout the spring. Cool temperatures in late spring resulted in an extended bloom period and very good fruit-set. Except for a hot July, the summer was beautiful with temperatures neither too hot nor too cool – a true Goldilocks zone. Cool temperatures returned in September that slowed ripening and extended hang-time, resulting in very even ripening with great flavors at lower sugar levels. We completed the harvest for our Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay – and began picking our red grapes – a good month later than in 2017 (and two weeks later than normal). Overall, this was a year of exceptional fruit quality producing wines with expressive fruit character.

TASTING NOTES

The 2020 Heart of FAY Cabernet Sauvignon delivers aromas of Bing Cherries, chocolate dusted raspberries and ripe blackberries. The palate is filled with coating flavors of blackberry, boysenberry and spice that lead to lasting flavors on the finish.

The 2019 Heart of FAY Cabernet Sauvignon delivers aromas of boysenberry, nutmeg, black olive and Jasmine tea. The wine has a soft but filling structure, a balanced mid-palate and a lasting finish with flavors of dark currants and a touch of brown sugar and spice.

The 2018 Heart of FAY Cabernet Sauvignon has bright and fruity aromatics with notes of blueberry, blackberry, cherry and pomegranate with a subtle hint of rose petal. The wine has a lively and lush texture with lingering berry flavors and a touch of thyme and cedar.