medium bodied Cabernet
packs a powerful punch
VARIETAL: Cabernet Sauvignon
RELEASE: Spring 2018
BARREL REGIME: Aged for nine
months in seasoned French oak
PRODUCTION: 7,240 cases
OPTIMUM DRINKING: 2018 - 2022
FORMATS: 750ml | Kegs
Editors’ Choice, 90 points
Wine Enthusiast September 2018
At ÆRENA Wines, we see wine as a work of art. From farmers, winemakers and label artists to the artist within each of us, ÆRENA Wines celebrates everyday heroes who are mastering their craft. Featuring distinctive bottlings from both well-known and emerging appellations, we create authentic California wines that embody a sense of place and a decidedly drinkable point of view.
If you had only one day left on Earth where would you go?
My home in the Mayacamas
THE VINEYARD ÆRENA’s single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is farmed from vines at 2400 ft. elevation in the Red Hills of California’s North Coast. These mountain vineyards are the result of the same volcanic and tectonic processes that formed the terroir of many of the North Coast’s classic regions. As one would expect of mountain viticulture, elevation moderates temperature extremes and diurnal shifts, allowing for a long growing season that results in complex flavor development. The intensity of flavors is magnified by vine stress from well-drained, iron-rich vineyards littered with black obsidian, quartz crystal, and volcanic gravel.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Fall seven times, stand up eight
What qualities are most important to you?
Reaching my full potential, honoring my roots and honesty
What living person do you most admire?
Winemakers Aaron Pott and Kyle Mizuno
MORE ABOUT THE WINEMAKERS Blackbird Vineyards’ winemaking duo, Aaron Pott and Kyle Mizuno, are the artisans behind ÆRENA Wines. Their relationship was once that of mentor and student, but after years of collaboration, they are family. To spend time with them is an exploration of wine, replete with quick wit and belly-clutching humor.In farming and winemaking, Aaron and Kyle strive to communicate a vineyard’s sense of place--by working the wine at the right time to expose the best characteristics of variety and site. According to Aaron, “In almost all definitions of art in the dictionary, there is a reference to ‘human works of beauty.’ ÆRENA believes wine certainly fits under this classification. It is an object created by human intervention that creates something beautiful. Wine is unique as art in that it is ephemeral; once it is consumed, it is gone. Aaron wholly appreciates working with Kyle. So it is appropriate that when asking Kyle to define their winemaking philosophy, his retort is, “Let the wines speak for themselves and don’t screw it up.”
Who is your personal hero?
Label Artist Tony Hernandez
MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST Tony Hernandez is an artist whose work provides a subjective sensation of intellectual satisfaction. The tenderness in his images, counterbalanced by emblems of hope and impending peace suggests the ability of artist characters to see past the judgments of others in their midst. Working exclusively on handmade birch wood panels using the technically-demanding process of encaustic painting, his works are visually simple, yet, psychologically complex. The overall message suggests that we must first look inward before looking outward.
What would your best friend say about you?
The 2016 ÆRENA Cabernet is uplifting with fruit and floral components coming together in perfect balance. Soft and supple tannins offer great approachability but this vintage is not afraid to show its true cabernet core.
What would your autobiography be called?