“Will the rain ever stop?” That was the question on every winemaker's mind. Record rainfall in May carried through to a period of two consecutive Sundays of rain in June which delayed flowering until the end of the month. Soon after, the weather returned to its normal pattern and our Cabernet bloomed and set under perfect conditions. The late start however became a harbinger of the universal truth in farming 'late to start, late to finish' as 2005 seemed to be the vintage that would never end. In late fall, we performed our customary pre-harvest thinning exercises for specifc cluster selection and yield concentration. By the time we had completed our final thinning pass, more than half of our crop had hit the ground. While it was painful to drop the fruit, we clearly saw the benefit our extreme vineyard management efforts when we brought in bin after bin of finely cultivated, beautifully balanced, fully ripened clusters.
The 2005 vintage provided positive proof that attentive vineyard management is the key to producing world-class wines. Throughout the valley, we saw vines laden with fruit and heard stories of some vineyards yielding up to 10 tons per acre. It is our belief that less is more and thanks to Thomas' careful crop cultivation we were able to limit our yields to two to three tons per acre, which we feel is the benchmark for making the finest, most complex and complete wines.