This 2018 Reserve Cabernet’s depth of character is visible at first glance with an inky crimson color. On the nose, fresh muddled blueberries, burnt sugar, vanilla bean and a hint of wet leather evolve onto the palette with flavors of layered dark fruit, coco powder, grated clove and additional vanilla; a result from the extended New French Oak ageing. Firm, integrated tannins frame the structure of this Cabernet making it an exceptional example of Paso Robles terroir.
The 2018 growing season gave us near-normal rainfall and mild conditions through spring with only a few weeks of exception. July brought a short period of very warm weather that slowed vine growth and berry sizing. Fortunately, moderate weather for the remainder of the growing season enabled vines to thrive. Leading up to harvest, the vines slow berry maturity was ideal for “hang time” resulting in predicted yields, high fruit quality with amazing color and structure
The making of Austin Hope Reserve Cabernet begins with small lot fermentations separated by individual vineyard blocks which receive daily pump-overs for maximum extraction. These lots are constantly supervised, tasted and analyzed for tannin and anthocyanins in order to determine optimal length of extended maceration after fermentation. Once drained and pressed, the young wines are barreled down into a combination of once used and neutral French Oak. In the early Fall of 2019, the lots were blended together and continued barrel aging in 75% new French Oak. Just before bottling the 2018 Austin Hope Cabernet, the winemaking team tasted and selected individual barrels that displayed exceptional quality and character. These barrels were combined together to form the Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. After an additional 6 months of ageing in 100% new French Oak, the wine was then bottled in Summer 2020.
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The Hope family has been farming in Paso Robles for more than 30 years. When they arrived in this barely-discovered region, they planted apples and grapes. Little did they know that the rolling, oak-studded terrain of Paso Robles would one day become viticultural terroir of significance and one of the top winegrowing regions for quality red wine within the Central Coast.
Gone are the apple orchards. Today, the Hopes cultivate mature vineyards of the varieties best suited to their area including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Mourvedre and Grenache. Vine density has increased and each vine is asked to produce very little fruit. The terroir of this domain expresses itself in its unique regional character. Regardless of the varieties planted, the expression of Paso Robles is displayed in the glass with spice, licorice and berry in the nose, soft textures and silky tannins on the palate.