Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Blend: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Sirah, 45% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, 2% Zinfandel
Founded in 1883, Wente Vineyards is the country’s longest continuously family-owned and operated winery. Today, the winery maintains its leadership role in California winegrowing under the ownership and management of the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family. Blending traditional and innovative winemaking practices, the winery draws from its sustainably-farmed vineyards to create an outstanding portfolio of wines. The family owns and operates vineyards in two world-class regions of the Central Coast of California - Livermore Valley and Arroyo Seco, Monterey. Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California’s premier wine country destinations, featuring wine tasting, food and wine experiences, and championship golf.
In 1912, 2nd Generation Ernest Wente persuaded his father and founder, C.H. Wente, to import Chardonnay cuttings from a well-known vine nursery, F. Richter Nursery in Montpellier, France, to the Livermore Valley. Ernest hand-picked vines that showed the best health and pronounced flavors, grafted the two together and propagated those characteristics forward. Ultimately creating what is known as the ‘Wente Clone.’ Today, over 75% of all California Chardonnay stems from the Wente Clone and the Wente Family property.
A warm sub-appellation of the greater San Francisco Bay AVA (American Viticultural Area), Livermore Valley mainly hides behind the shielding effects of the bay’s eastern hills. However, late afternoon winds cool down summer nights as daytime heat rises from the Central Valley in the east, pulling the cold, foggy, bay air inland. This cooler evening air permeates the Livermore Valley's foothills, making this an ideal environment for the development of phenolic ripeness and concentration in its wine grapes.
The Livermore Valley is one of California's oldest wine regions and has played a crucial role in shaping California's wine industry. Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the Livermore Valley in the 1760s. Then in the mid 1800s, a man named Robert Livermore planted the area’s first commercial vineyards. Winemaker pioneer C. H. Wente arrived a few years later; today the Wente Chardonnay clone is the source of a majority of California Chardonnay. Furthermore, James Concannon and the Wetmore brothers recognized the virtues of the area’s Bordeaux-like gravel soils and dedicated themselves to making high quality wine from Bordeaux varieties. Today the area is also known for high quality Petite Sirah.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.