Sometimes in the course of talking about the events or distinctions of each growing season, we end up personifying them. One is easy, agreeable, fun to be around and everything seems to go their way; another is initially aloof and cold but eventually warms up with time; and another brings some drama with them wherever they go. If the 2016 vintage was the belle of the ball, the 2017 vintage was her temperamental younger sister who needed some effort and coaxing to step out onto the dance floor and shine.
The 2017 vintage began with generous winter rains which led to a long and temperate spring. We were off to the races in the early spring months with a lovely bud break and even fruit set. As the season progressed to summer, the days became longer and warmer as they do but it was apparent early on that this was going to be a hot one. One that was going to require a bit more adjusting and strategy than usual in terms of how we handled the grapes throughout the season to insure the fruit developed consistently. To the outsider, it can seem a daunting task but to us this is farming at its best. And what’s more, we had a front row seat to the vast experience and wisdom of our vineyard management team, Barbour Vineyards. They shepherded the grapes through all the variations of the season right through to harvest and made it look easy. We picked on September 20th and 23rd and the wine began its long, quiet maturation at Outpost Winery. The resulting 2017 GTS Cabernet Sauvignon is a big, lush wine and much like our 2013 vintage, would do well with some rest to allow the tannins to integrate. This will give you plenty of time then to open and enjoy some of the older vintages of GTS you have been patiently resting in your cellar!
To say we were fortunate to have picked all our fruit two weeks before the fires started in October of 2017, or fortunate that our wines are made on the very top of Howell Mountain which was out of the path of the fires and at an elevation that saw very little – if any – smoke, or fortunate that our little Calistoga vineyard was spared from the path of the Tubbs fire is an understatement. We are more grateful and humbled than we can adequately express and we endeavor to remember to give thanks again every time we raise a glass of our 2017 GTS.
Thank you for your continued support and we hope you enjoy the 2017 vintage as much as we enjoyed the hard work to bring it to you.
Tom & Nancy Seaver
While 2017 will, unfortunately, predominantly be remembered for the October wildfires that ravaged Napa Valley and our neighbors in Sonoma County, all the fruit off the Seaver Vineyards Estate was harvested two weeks prior to the start of the fires. As such, there are zero smoke taint issues with this wine. Every step along the way the wines were handled with the typical precision, care and the best practices towards creating an exemplary Cabernet Sauvignon from the Estate.
This wine displays a dark purple-red hue in the glass with a violet halo on the edge. If the aromas could have a texture, here one might suggest that there are velvety layers of cedar dust, plum, citrus pith, boysenberry compote, brass, and cigar wrapper. The mouth-feel has a structured appeal that shows the true mountain fruit profile. Notes of black cherry, white pepper, macerated blackberry, cocoa powder, and white flowers are mouth-coating and lead to a drawn out finish framed beautifully by a refreshing acidity.
The 2017 GTS shows a harmonious balance of fruit, structure, and tannin profile. While drinking well today with some generous time in a decanter, it will also age well in the cellar for 8- 12 years.
Thomas Rivers Brown