St. Helena AVA gained status as an AVA in 1993 and is a sub-appellation of the Napa Valley AVA. The AVA is situated on 9,000 acres and is centered on the town of St. Helena, California. St. Helena is Napa Valley's northernmost AVA and sits between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains. The soils of the region are sedimentary, gravel-clay soils, with lower fertility and moderate water retention The location, means the region is isolated from the cool ocean breezes and fog that is prevalent in the southern valleys. These conditions make for bright sunny days with radiating heat off the mountains and full-bodied wines that are fruit forward and jammy. The featured wines of the region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Zinfandel.
Packed with intensity, Anthem's first vintage from this famous Beckstoffer vineyards in St. Helena could not be a stronger introduction. On the nose, the 2010 Las Piedras is all dark fruits with loads of blackberries, black cherries and lingering hint of espresso bean. The palate is plush and full weight with more dark fruit, espresso bean, dark chocolate, mint, and a touch of sweet oak, as well as incredible length and complexity. Although very enjoyable now, this Cabernet will peak in 5-10 years and will continue to age and evolve well beyond that.
Our 2011 Anthem Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet is a testament to how much a great site with well drained, rocky soils can mean. This wine shows great bright red fruits, spicy smoked meats, and spice. On the palate, it is full weight and incredibly smooth and seamless, exhibiting more red fruits along with dark chocolate, licorice, and candid cherries. This Cabernet has tremendous elegance, suppleness, and breadth, and will be superb with any meat dish. Exquisite to drink now, and will be even better in 3-8 years.
Our 2011 St. Helena harvest was later than usual. Early autumn rains prompted many to harvest their grapes at lower Brix, but we took our chances and successfully weathered the storm so that we could pick fully ripe grapes of the highest quality. Due to the beautiful sunny, dry weather in the weeks before our arrest, our 2011 wine has gorgeous color, and deep, complex flavors.
What began with a wet winter and spring, continued with rainfall into mid-June with few high heat events occurring at any point during the growing season. The cool weather delayed bloom and the cloud cover and cool temperatures delayed vine development by several weeks at the onset of the growing season. This set the stage for a long and cooler-than-average growing season with a later-than-average harvest start date.
Waiting patiently to pick until the fruit was mature paid off. Quality was very good with excellent structure and length on the palate. While quantity was somewhat lower than usual, the fruit harvested in 2011 made for well-balanced wines with good intensity, structure and texture with a brightness of flavor.
Only 25 cases available!!! This has been the find of the year. 85% St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Oak Knoll Merlot. We keep hearing the same reaction from people when tasting this amazing wine from the barrel “I want to drink all of this now”.
Blackberry all the way with leather and violets living in harmony. A faint hint of orange blossom points to the fresh fruit while the tannins showcase the French Oak