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The near-perfect growing season started early, saw ideal weather conditions in the spring, continuing throughout the summer and fall. Aromas of cocoa nibs, turmeric, suede and mixed berries perfume the wine, while notes of fresh, red currant and blackberry nuances combine for a bright acidity that is followed by a rounded texture and nicely structured yet plush tannins. The Animo Cabernet Sauvignon is a generous wine, with complex and elegant layers of flavor. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot; aged for 27 months in French oak (50% new, 50% neutral).
The Animo vineyard is located high atop Atlas Peak between 1,270-1,350 feet on 15 acres of rocky, volcanic soil. The property sits on the edge of a steep canyon overlooking Foss Valley and was purchased and planted by the Michael Mondavi family in 1999. The vineyard was named by Michael’s daughter, Dina, who upon seeing the land, expressed that the site had “animo”, an Italian word meaning spirit or soul. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines at Animo are of the Clone 4 variety planted on 110R rootstock, producing structured fruit with ample tannins and acid to balance the concentrated dark fruit flavor.
After the grapes were hand-harvested, de-stemmed and crushed, the juice cold soaked for four days prior to fermentation in stainless steel. Aeration and cap management is handled though a series of punch-downs and pump-overs for color and tannin extraction. Upon completion of fermentation, the lots macerate on the skins for 28-35 days before being pressed off. The wine is barrel aged in 87% new French oak for 20 months before bottling.