We’ve definitely written about this before but every year we are afforded a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the days from the vintage we are releasing which is always three years in the past. This year it was an especially poignant endeavor for us and one we savored while looking through pictures, rereading past communications and vintage notes, and – of course – tasting the 2018 GTS and NLS. We relished the opportunity to, for a time, be immersed in the remembrances of those seemingly simpler days.
2018 marked the year that our Clone 6 really came into its own both in terms of the size of the crop as well as the quality of the fruit. As such it’s given us not only a boost in production (the 2018 vintage is our largest production yet) but also added a wonderful nuance to the clonal blend of our Cabernet. What’s more, the 2018 growing season was overall an outstanding year. Much like 2016, there was little, if any, drama. The temperatures were consistent for the most part and the end of summer brought warm days and cool nights. We always hope for this combination at the end of the season because it allows the fruit to ripen at an even pace and also provides a longer hang-time for the berries – giving our winemaker the luxury of choosing the most optimal harvest date instead of racing against the weather clock.
At our 2018 vintage blending meeting last winter we could really taste this effect – how well the fruit had developed and the marked distinctions in each clone. Each was so expressive and vibrant that it was clear that we needed to offer two bottlings of this vintage instead of blending everything into just the GTS. Both the 2018 GTS and NLS have a bit more structure to them than the 2016s but are so well balanced that they can be enjoyed now with a bit of time in the decanter but will also age beautifully for years to come.
One last thing we wanted to share is the unfortunate news that our vineyard was in the path of the Glass Fire this past September. While we are beyond fortunate that we did not lose any structures, we did lose a small section of vines in the eastern portion of our vineyard. We have already begun efforts to replant and will keep you posted on the vineyard’s progress as we know more.
All of us at Seaver Vineyards
Picking up the glass of 2018 GTS Cabernet Sauvignon and drawing it close, vast aromas of blackberry, oolong tea and pine bough pop out and capture your attention. The palate is densely layered with a symphony of juicy black fruit and exotic spice notes framed by a refined silky tannin profile, a touch of minerality, and a pleasing acidity. The balance in this vintage is remarkable with nothing poking out or out of sync. This is an unforgettable Cabernet Sauvignon which, like its NLS counterpart, will only get better over time.
This 2018 NLS Cabernet Sauvignon offers a vivid profile of lush, dark red fruit and a refined mouth-watering structure. The wine exhibits a nearly opaque purple red hue in the glass with a dark ruby halo. Aromas of plum, baking spices, cardamom, clove, and cassis swell from the glass in concert. The sleek mouthfeel is marked by harmonious notes of macerated raspberry, cedar, graphite, river rock, wild iris and pomegranate liqueur. This is an overwhelmingly enjoyable wine right out of the gate. The vintage afforded us that in spades, and with a few years in the cellar it will develop gracefully and offer up a new level of intrigue and pleasure.
Thomas Rivers Brown