This wine pays homage to the two of the most important women in my life: my wife, Heather, and my daughter, Paige. Anne is Heather’s middle name and Rose is Paige’s middle name. At first I thought about naming the wine Wildflower, after the wildflowers such as lupines and poppies and chamomile that grow on the ethereal hills of the Sonoma Coast, where grapes for these wines grow. But with every taste from the barrels, it became clearer and clearer that this wine really was a reflection of my love for my “girls.”
To make the wine, I whole-cluster pressed the grapes and let the juice interact with the yeast naturally. I other words, I just let things happen. Sometimes with this approach we get funky smells and flavors during the process, but what ends up in the bottle is much more complex and complete and wonderful. Just like my girls.
Peacefulness and happy thoughts characterize the song lyric I chose for this label: “’Cause I feel that when I’m with you, it’s alright…” The line is from the Fleetwood Mac song, “Songbird,” and really it’s a tribute to Heather and Paige. Heather and I played this song during the ceremony of our wedding. It’s a song that has had great meaning to our family ever since. It’s a good summation of how I feel about my girls. There’s a comfort to having your family around, and I think that lyric brings it all together. I hope the wine gives people a similar feeling of being loved and secure.
The grapes used in this blend are from the Occidental and Freestone areas of Sonoma County. I was able to secure fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the area, but had to promise not to identify all of the sources. One vineyard I can tell you about: Platt Ranch. I was able to coax a small amount of this wonderful juice from David and Carla Ramey in 2015. We are forever grateful to them for allowing me to work with such an extraordinary site. This wine will always hold a special place in my heart. I hope it will for yours as well.
Vintage Notes: Having access to some of the most spectacular Old Wente selection chardonnay from the Freestone/Occidental areas of the Sonoma Coast was a dream come true. The long, cold and difficult growing conditions of the true Sonoma Coast, always express wines of complexity and character. The aromas of citrus blossom, stone fruits, honey and minerals dominate your senses. Cuvée Anne Rose chardonnay exhibits concentrated flavors of Meyer lemons, ginger, pineapple, honeysuckle and crushed stone that finishes with a candy lemon drop expression in your mouth. The natural acidity of 6.8g/L and pH of 3.34 drive a verve or intensity that reminds me of wines from the Chablis area of Burgundy - one of my all time favorite wine regions! This chardonnay is fat and rich in texture with flavors of passionfruit, Meyer lemon and white peaches, accented only by the long mineral finish. The vibrant acidity and sweet barrel tannins finish long with a natural finished alcohol of 14.5%. Extended sur lie barrel contact of 15 months, gives this wine plenty of aging potential and can be easily enjoyed with some Fleetwood Mac, Elton John or even a little Green Day.
The Label Story
My wife Heather and I were fortunate enough to work with Byron Hoffman on our label design. This process was developed though several meetings at our home in Healdsburg that would sometimes last four or five hours. We talked about our family, my passion for music (rock ‘n’ roll in particular), how the wine business has provided us with an amazing life, and why we decided to pursue this project. We believe Byron very much captured our vision. This was one of the most rewarding processes I have ever been through. It seemed to finally bring our dream to life.
I adamantly resisted having my name “splashed” across the labels, so it may take a much closer look to find it. “Bob Cabral Wines” was used because the name “Cabral” had already be trademarked by a North American company importing Portuguese ports. That was just fine with me. We have used proprietary names for each wine. Each of those names has personal meaning and significance, those names have the largest font you’ll see on each label. Appellation, varietal, and vintage also are visible, since those are the most relevant information to any wine label. Byron deftly added many subtle elements from my fascination of old concert posters: the “bleeding” of color and backward lettering in a sort of balloon font to the color and texture of the paper stock we used. Each label also has a fragment of song lyric that I chose for a number of different reasons. Each is unique and meaningful to me, and I hope you find your own inspiration or muse as you enjoy the wines.
Rat De Cave
The French candle-stand called “Rat de Cave” or Cellar Rat, was the essential working tool used in the wine cellars of Burgundy. Its origin stems from far back in the past. In the year 1000 the Monks of the famous Abbey of Cluny, near Vougeot, used it to illuminate the caves that housed their wine barrels. This provided them with the necessary light to work with the wine barrels throughout the vintage. During fermentation, the colour of the flame showed the eventual evolution of gases as the wines underwent a chemical transformation. The Monks then knew to leave the caves due to lack of oxygen - a “canary” if you will. The handle or “rats tail” provides an easy grip and the hook permits to hang the stand on a nail or the head of an oak barrel. This would allow the Monks to rack the clear wine off of the heavy sediment or lees.
We chose this “tool” as a tribute or symbol to the traditional Burgundian methods I am using to craft our wines. Incorporating these traditions is an essential part of my winemaking thought process and vision - plus it’s really cool. You will not see this symbol on any of our labels, but should become quite familiar with it on the end of our bottle capsules. We hope that the flame inspires everyone towards a world of hope, peace and love.