Vintage Notes
2002 Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, supple and graceful, with a tasty mix of currant, mocha, nutmeg and dill. Mildly tannic, it wins points for its balance and harmony, depth and concentration. 

Bottled in July 2004 was created from a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Merlot and then poured into 100% new French oak barrels.

The wine is another rich Pillar Rock wine with finesse, elegance, and the true Stags Leap style of fruit and textures. The 2002 is drinking beautifully now and will age magnificently for another seven to ten years.


Growing Season A little volatility in the spring – a late frost in April and rain in May lead to nearly perfect conditions over the summer with lots of warm days and cool nights. Harvest was close to desired timeframes in late September through early October.

Vineyard The 22-acre estate in the heart of the Stags Leap District is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The Stags Leap District is renowned for its elegant, distinctive and full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.

Harvest Brix: 26.4°
Acid: 0.41 g/100mL
pH: 3.65
Harvest dates: 9/20 (Merlot) to 10/4/02 (Cabernet Sauvignon)

Fermentation & Aging Fermentation and extended maceration were easily accomplished in 29 days (about 8 days of fermentation and the balance extended maceration). After a short period in tank, the four different lots were moved to 100% new French oak barrels from five different tonnelleries. I favor tight grain Chateaux Ferre barrels with medium plus toast, from the forests of Never and Allier. A few of the barrels are the cooper’s choice mixed forest blend of the tightest grain (read the most expansive).

The wine was racked every three months during the first year in barrel and two times after the first 12 months.

During the first year, I created the blend, which is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon from four different vineyard blocks and the balance is Merlot (the smallest vineyard block at Pillar Rock). The wine has not been fined. It was bottled on July 8th, 2004.


Finished Wine Bottling date: July 8, 2004 Release spring 2005
Sizes: 1,200 6-bottle wooden cases, 240-1.5L, 6-3.0L, 3-6.0L bottles
Bottle age: More than 6 months
100% Napa Valley Stags Leap District
100% Estate Grown, vinted & bottled
94% Cabernet Sauvignon
6% Merlot
Alcohol:  14.5%

Winemaker's Comments The vineyard is showing its finest work…finesse and elegance with the Stags Leap style of fruit and rich textures. I like this wine.

Download PDF