- Producer: Dana Estates - read about the Estate
- Winemakers: Philippe Melka & Chris Cooney
- Region (AVA): Rutherford and Howell Mountain (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec, 4% Merlot
- Vintage production: c.1,200 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Hi Sang Lee
- First vintage: 2013
- Drinking window: 2021-2031+
About The Wine:
The VASO Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of four unique Estate sites in the Napa Valley, with the Hershey Vineyard atop Howell Mountain providing the backbone of the wine. Through vigorous farming practices, and a minimally-interventionist approach in the winery, the VASO Cabernet Sauvignon is set apart by its freshness, purity of fruit, energy, balance, and the structure to are for a decade or more.
The 2016 growing season began with soil full of water, giving the vines access to a needed respite from 3 years of drought. The season began early with a warm April and May, promoting healthy canopies early in the season.
The higher than average growth lead to extra work in the vineyards to keep the fruit zone open, which is critical for tannin development and reducing mildew pressure. Flowering occurred ideally in mid-May during warmer weather, resulting in a moderate to slightly below crop level. Veraison occurred early, allowing for a longer ripening period with plenty of time for flavor and tannin development. The summer heat was moderate with a few heat spells towards the end of the growing season, allowing for control of ripeness. This near perfect growing season yielded wine with great balance, precision, and depth of flavour.
They used various fermentation vessels to harness the complexity of the sites. After undergoing native fermentation, the wines were drained and pressed directly to barrel where the native malolactic fermentation ran its course.
The wine spent 22 months in French oak from six coopers: Ermitage, Taransaud, Baron, Demptos, Sylvain, Artisan. It was bottles on 2nd August, 2018.
Dana Estates VASO Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
"This is a beautiful red with plums, currants and spice. Full body and creamy, polished tannins. Extremely flavorful and delicious. Hard to wait on this. Drink or hold."
95 points, James Suckling (Oct. 2019)
"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Vaso is a new wine that's made in a slightly larger production with the idea to show the winegrowing philosophy of the estate at a more manageable volume and price point. It succeeds beautifully, revealing lots of red and black currants fruit as well as classic tobacco leaf, scorched earth, camphor, and hoisin sauce-like aromas and flavors. Beautiful on the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, has a pure, elegant texture, ripe yet present tannins, and that classic elegance paired with richness that this estate does so well."
94 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Aug. 2021)