Noble Vines 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, 337, Clay Station Vyd., Lodi
Vines perform at their best when they are put to work in the type of soil and climate from which they develop. Clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon originated in Bordeaux, France, and flourishes in the similar soils and climate of the aptly named Clay Station Vineyard. Composed of deep, pebbly clay soils, Clay Station lies at the top of the most elevated knoll of Lodi, catching the cool afternoon breezes from San Francisco Bay. This vineyard produces grapes of such quality that, before Noble Vines, it supplied Cabernet Sauvignon to other prestigious wineries to fill in their own much more expensive blends. 337 Cabernet Sauvignon berries are noticeably smaller than average, which results in longer hangtime, smaller yields and more concentrated flavors than other more restrained vine selections of Cabernet. This was rated "Excellent", "Highly Recommended" with a 90 point score in the Ultimate Wine Challenge. They said "Layers of complex berry fruits and forest floor mingle with aromas of cocoa and crunchy red apple skin. Round and generous on the palate, with apple skin reprising its role with more berries, toasted oak, and a hint of citrus pith."