Pierre Klein, an Alsatian, purchased his Mira Valle property
on Monte Bello Ridge in 1888. He planted cabernet sauvignon—
probably the other Bordeaux varietals as well—and
aspired to produce wines as great as those of the Médoc.
During this early period of California's wine industry, little
cabernet was grown. Klein's was one of the exceptions, and
won a gold medal at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris.
Unfortunately, Prohibition led to the demise of Mira Valle
and the abandonment of the vineyard. The Schwabacher
family of San Francisco bought Klein's land in 1936, renaming
it "Jimsomare." At our suggestion and with our support
cabernet was replanted in the early seventies; Ridge produced
a small quantity of Jimsomare Cabernet from 1978 until 1997.
When Ridge took over the vineyard in 1996, it became part of
the Monte Bello estate vineyard. This year, we selected a
limited number of barrels from the La Casita parcel for a
separate bottling, and named it for the original owner. This
excellent cabernet sauvignon will develop its full complexity
over the next fifteen to twenty years.
Harvest Dates: 28 - 29 October
Grapes: Average Brix 23.2˚
Fermentation: Destemmed, but left uncrushed as whole
berries; automated berry sorting; floating cap, daily pump-overs.
Pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% new air-dried american oak
Time in Barrel: Twenty months
Rainfall: 36 inches (above average)
Bloom: Late June
Moderate summer and fall, lon cool growing season
Estate-grown Monte Bello vineyard grapes, hand harvested;
destemmed and sorted; fermented on the native yeasts,
followed by full malolactic on the naturally-occurring
bacteria; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (30 ppm at crush, 105
ppm over the course of aging); oak from barrel aging; pad filtered at bottling. In
keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is
the sum of our actions.
Winemaker Tasting Notes
Purple to saturated ruby; pungent mountain bramble, chaparral, eucalyptus,
roasted vegetables, and fennel; full bodied, firm tannin structure,
black olive, cassis, eucalyptus, licorice, sweet toasty oak, ferric minerals,
long, intense finish.