Ackerman Family Vineyards 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Only 300 Cases Produced
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The Ackerman Family vineyard is situated and planted to provide an optimal environment for growing a premium Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Located in the cooler climate of Coombsville, the vineyard faces easterly to the morning sun and is planted to drought resistant root stock and Cabernet Sauvignon clone 337. They farm organically, using cover crops and composting. They also use hawk boxes to keep rodents out of the vineyards.
The 2003 vintage is noted as a difficult farming year due primarily to one week of extreme hot weather that was received in July - causing many farming issues in most vineyards. The Ackerman vines, planted with an east-west row direction and restricted afternoon sun, allowed the vineyard to transcend the excessive heat as designed. The harvest went smoothly with a lighter than normal crop.
The results from this tasting were consistent with the intent of the winery. The wine was balanced and refined, more Bordeaux-like in structure, body and complexity. The fruit flavor comes through much like a Heitz or Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon does.
We noted a very slight earthy aroma on the nose. The flavor profile leaned to the earthy, dusty side with blackberries and dried lavender noted. The texture was so smooth we found ourselves using the word “creamy” a lot - the fruit is more focused and substantial without being overpowering.
The winery suggested we pair BBQ Lamb Chops with this Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was smooth and well rounded enough to enhance the rich taste of lamb chops. This food pairing works well in a formal dinner party setting.
Our mission is to provide unbiased opinions of the wine being offered. These notes come from up to 10 guests who tasted this wine in a blind tasting format (wine is concealed so their identity is unknown). Why this format? Tasting blind completely throws out any hype associated with a certain winery, style, price point, etc; it forces the taster to accept what is in the glass without any predetermined notions. Our guests utilize Robert Parker's Glossary of Wine Terms for their comments for consistency purposes. In addition, we utilize the wine aroma wheel to enhance one’s ability to describe the complexity of wine flavor. Notes are posted on this wine during the tasting to ensure they accurately reflect the impressions.
|Blend||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Appelation||Ackerman Estate, Napa Valley|
|Harvest Dates||October 7, 2003|
|Sugar at Harvest||24.5 degrees Brix|
|Fermentation||About 7 days with 2 punchdowns/day|
|Aging / Cooperage||26 Months in 100% new French Oak.|
|Alcohol||13.5% by volume|
|Acidity||PH = 3.87, TA = 0.54|
Harvest took place on October 7th. The grapes were fermented using native yeast with fermentation proceeding very quickly - finishing in less than a week. After 14 days of maceration, with tannins building in what was already a big wine, the wine achieved the right balance of structure and fruit. The wine was pressed and drained off of the skins on October 28th, a total of three weeks in the tank. Malolactic fermentation was completed before year-end as the wine continued its accelerated development. The 2003 Ackerman Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon spent a total of almost 24 months in new French barrels – assuring the wine was mature and finished before bottling in September of 2005. The 2003 release enjoyed a further two years of bottle aging prior to release.
The 2003 has emerged with lovely complexity of cedar, dark berry and wood spice, and will drink beautifully over the next 6-7 years.