2018 Desire Lines Lichau Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
We didn’t intend to make a Cabernet when we started Desire Lines. But, like a desire line along a hiking trail, the path to Lichau Hill appeared for us in 2018, so we happily followed it up Sonoma Mountain. The vineyard is thoroughly singular, the only Cabernet Sauvignon planted in the Petaluma Gap AVA. How then can Cabernet Sauvignon fully ripen, you ask? It’s all thanks to Lichau Hill’s elevation, situated inland and far enough above the fog line to reliably ripen Cabernet, even if it may take until late October to reach just 24° brix.
Planted in 1999 in soil so rocky that a wall was built around our block from the rocks excavated during planting, Lichau Hill (Lichau pronounced “lee-how”) sits high up on a south-west facing ridge, looking down at Gap’s Crown Vineyard below and the rest of the Petaluma Gap splayed out into the distance, all the way to the Pacific Ocean. We were drawn to Lichau Hill because it has all the markers of a great mountain Cabernet site, with a cooler coastal climate.
Our 2018 Lichau Hill Cabernet Sauvignon was fully destemmed but not crushed, fermented and left on skins for thirty days in tank, and aged for 15 months in 225L barriques with 40% new oak included. The wine has a silky mouthfeel with vibrant acidity and a distinctly red-fruited profile, with pretty notes of red currant, red apple skin, rose petals and graphite.
Rated 90 points, Antonio Galloni
"The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lichau Hill Vineyard is an attractive wine marked more by an approach that seeks freshness and energy, but some of that comes at the expression of both varietal and site character. The 2018 is pretty, but not especially typical of Cabernet, and quite similar in profile to the other wines in the range." - April 2020
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