2021 was our second year in the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon game. In 2021, we moved up-valley (and uphill) to the top of Diamond Mountain. Located about 2000 feet above the valley floor, there are commanding views from the vineyard across the valley towards the Palisades. The soil is quite thin and gravelly, reddish brown in color, and low in organic matter. The vines are small, and yields are low. The fruit is classically mountain Cabernet, late ripening, concentrated, and a little stern when young. 220 cases made.
We named this wine “攀登” (Pan Deng), which means climbing. Winemaking is a physically demanding job that is not as glamorous as many might think. Like mountain climbers, perseverance and resilience are the core characters of a winemaker. We want to dedicate this wine to all the hard-working men and women out there who are fearlessly pursuing their goals and dreams every day.
The flavor profile tends towards black cherry and graphite, with fine, firm tannins. It is somewhat “old school” in the aromas and flavors, with no cooked fruit flavors or heavy oakiness. While it is definitely “bigger” and more powerful than the debut 2020 Pan Deng, it shares a certain sleekness, purity, and subtlety with that wine. It spent 16 months in a combination of new and older French oak cooperage, about 40% of which was new.