The 2012 vintage in Napa Valley was an exceptional vintage for free anthocyanin, or available color, in wine. The Pine Ridge Vineyards 2012 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon was fermented to maximize this color by slowly extracting grape skin and seed tannin during fermentation. This tannin binds with the free anthocyanin to create the luscious mid palate, high end, well crafted Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is known for.
Tannin and free anthocyanin fall under the category of phenolic compounds. The phenolic compounds are found in the grape skin and seeds and are what give red wine color, weight and body. Each vintage these phenolic compounds are slightly different due to the growing season, picking decisions and measures taken in the vineyard. It is up to each winemaker or winemaking team to recognize these differences in phenolic compounds and set fermentation practices to achieve the desired style of wine they would like to make.
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