93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec from the estate-owned Backus Vineyard in Oakville.
Grapes were harvested at an average 25.0° Brix, fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged 24 months in new French oak barrels manufactured by Taransaud, Dargaud, Jaegle and Darnajou. The wine was subsequently bottled without filtration in January, 2008.
The 2005 Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon yielded a classic, more European-style wine early on as it aged in barrel. The wine evolved slowly, showing beautiful weight and aromatics after one year which continued to increase after the second year. The result is a deeply ruby colored wine with hints of graphite, freshly ground espresso bean, crushed stones, ripe dark berries and plum, all of which contributes to an enticing bouquet. The texture is layered with ripe, well-integrated tannins along with a velvety, seamless finish. The 2005 wines are sure to be long lived.
The beginning of 2005 was wet; between January and the end of June there was an accumulation of approximately 25 inches of rain, which helped sustain the larger than normal crop load. It is interesting to note that the significant bud fruitfulness and larger than normal cluster size in 2005 was due to perfect weather conditions in June/July of 2004 when the buds were forming. In 2005, what turned into optimum weather conditions during bud break, bloom and set just solidified the crop size. Shoots had three clusters instead of the normal two, and thinning passes were conducted during the unusually temperate summer to balance the vine, improve air and light distribution within the vine canopy and ensure optimal quality. The extended hang time in 2005 also allowed for the development of balanced sugar and acidity in the cluster.