Venge Vineyards "Silencieux" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


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Friends, I have been in the winegrowing business since as long as I can remember. I am now at the age of 44 years and I can count on both hands the number of times I have coined a vintage as “great,” meaning, that the vintage is of an extent, amount, or intensity above average. When considering greatness of vintages, and I mean this purely from what happened within the vineyard, vintages such as, 1987, 1990, 1997, 1999, 2007, and 2012, all come to mind. The common thread in al of these vintages was consistency throughout the growing season that led to near perfect, and above average, crop sets in Bordeaux varieties. And, now we can include vintage 2018 as one of the greats!Powerful and full bodied, opening with scents of sweet cassis, anise, blackberries, roasted coffee, and vanilla. The tannins are firm upfront with a full mouth-coating lead into a concentrated and lengthy finish. This wine is approachable upon release and cellar worthy in proper aging conditions. Best now through 2030.

IN THE VINEYARD: The heart and soul of this wine is its vineyard sourcing and we have stellar new locations going into this gem. The diversity of fruit sourcing that created this wine is a testament to our efforts to increase quality across the board with the production of Silencieux Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2018 vintage was the vintage that kept giving, as wave after wave of magnificent fruit kept coming for a full 8 weeks. We benefited tremendously, once again, from doubling our employed harvest interns and state-or-the-art sorting systems that culled only the best berries for production, leaving us with “fruit caviar” as a base to produce the 2018 vintage. The result was a fruit base that was beautifully balanced and on par with the great vintages from Napa Valley.

IN THE CELLAR: 100% gravity flow was deployed in the production of this wine. The fruit was hand picked and gently processed using our state-of-the-art Pellenc sorting and destemming system, producing what we describe as “fruit caviar.” The pristine, whole berries were moved via elevator belt into a combination of small stainless steel, concrete tank fermenters, and open-top barriques. Time on skins lasted 20 to 35 days. The fruit was then separated to “free run” and “light press” fractions. The finished wine was aged in 65% new, tight grained, French Oak barrels for 18 months. We employ a variety of cooperages for Bordeaux varieties including Boutes, Sylvain, Taransaud, Gamba and Alain Foquet. 100% native, spontaneous yeast and malolactic fermentations were also key ingredients in the making of this wine. The gentle use of gravity flow winemaking, whenever possible, is carefully exercised throughout the making of this and every Venge wine. Bottled unfiltered.