2009 The Assassin Cabernet Sauvignon
The Assassin is a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the Ink Grade Vineyard. The site sits above the 1400 ft inversion layer that marks the periphery of the Howell Mountain sub-AVA. The high elevation causes cooler daytime temperatures and slightly warmer evening temperatures than those of the valley floor. Bud break is about a month later than the lower elevations but the vineyard basks in warm sun late into the growing season, while most of the Napa valley is shrouded in fog. The soils consist of rich red clay and decomposed volcanic ash – a combination poor in nutrients and able to retain very little water. The result is stressed vines, producing small berries with deeply structured spice notes and robust tannins. Yields are limited to 2 to 2.5 tons per acre.