Overview of the Wine
A relatively new (cult) domaine, only established in 2000 by the flamboyant winemaker Jayson Woodbridge from Canada in St. Helena (Napa Valley - California). A specialist “pur sang” who produces high quality wines from principally Cabernet Sauvignon.
The name “Hundred Acre” has been derived from “Hundred Acre Wood”, where Winnie the Pooh and his friends were living. Jayson Woodbridge, who used to be an investment banker, first bought the “Kayli Morgan” vineyard (3,6 Ha) in Howell Mountain already in the 1990’s. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon saw his debut in 2000.
Further acquisitions were the “Ark Vineyard” (6 Ha) and a very small, but well-situated hillside parcel of only 2 Ha, just above the historic “Eisele Vineyard” near Calistoga. His approach in winemaking has been very serious. The vineyards are in excellent condition. Only 1 grape cluster per vine is allowed, so the pruning is very extensive, and the yields are extremely low. During harvest time, at least 5 passes are made through the vineyards and all grapes are hand sorted and selected. He uses new French oak barrels to age his wines for a period of at least 24 months (some of special cuvées age even 36 -42 months!).
Since 2004, a new project has been started in Barossa Valley (Australia), to produce some extraordinary wines from the Shiraz grape. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to lay your hands onto some bottles unless you are on the mailing list. Furthermore, some of his wines received the perfect score in certain vintages, so his collection of wines is in high demand.
"One of California’s (perhaps the world’s) most flamboyant, talented, contrarian wine producers is Napa Valley’s Jayson Woodbridge, the owner of Hundred Acre winery. Woodbridge has been running in high gear since his debut 2000. His 100% Cabernet Sauvignons are made primarily by him, with some consulting advice from Philippe Melka. His first effort was from his home vineyard, Kayli Morgan, which is situated east of St. Helena. That offering was followed by a Cabernet from the 15 acre Ark Vineyard on Howell Mountain. Woodbridge recently purchased a tiny, well-situated hillside parcel above the Eisele Vineyard, southeast of Calistoga. His special projects include the Cabernet Sauvignon Precious (in issue #174 I mistakenly called it “Previous”), a wine harvested grape by grape rather than bunch by bunch, and his Cabernet Sauvignon Deep Time, which sees extended oak aging (36-42 months). All things considered, this is an extraordinary group of wines. They are not easy to secure unless you are on Hundred Acre’s mailing list, but they are truly profound offerings that showcase a variety of Napa Valley terroirs as well as different harvesting and barrel aging techniques. The newest enterprise is the Dark Matter Zinfandel, a Zinfandel that is pushed to the limits of ripeness from the high elevations of Howell Mountain. The most common characteristic among all of the Hundred Acre Cabernet Sauvignons is their incredibly opulent, creamy textures. That character vindicates Woodbridge’s harvesting decisions as he seems to achieve extraordinarily sweet, noble tannins in all of his wines. There are approximately 250 cases of Jayson Woodbridge’s special projects, including the Precious and Deep Time cuvees." - Robert Parker
Grape / Blend
Napa Valley, California
Winemaker Tasting Notes
All Hundred Acre wines are made by sorting the fruit berry by berry, fermenting in small French oak fermenters, and long aging in the finest barriques. The secret to Hundred Acre is no compromise and no detail overlooked, ever.
The 2015 vintage will forever be defined as the height of the drought in Napa Valley. The vines were under tremendous stress with a warm, long growing season and very limited access to water. These drought conditions led to small berries, tight clusters and tremendous concentration. Unfortunately these conditions also led to significantly lower yields than the 2014 vintage.
The Kayli Morgan Vineyard is located just north of Saint Helena, California at the base of Howell Mountain. The soils are a chocolaty clay; holding moisture to keep the vines cool. As summer progresses, the ground forms micro-cracks, allowing the roots to seek water deeper and deeper into the earth; as they do, they pick up minerals that give Kayli Morgan its distinctive characteristics. Kayli Morgan is a single estate vineyard and 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
100 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Vineyard has a medium garnet-purple color and is a little closed to begin, giving up red and black currants, violets, lilacs and spice box plus chocolate-covered coffee beans, menthol, tilled soil and cardamom. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated and built like a brick house, with loads of floral sparks and a very long, mineral-laced finish. Through the roof.
91 Points - Wine Spectator
A subtle, elegant expression, showing a gently mulled core of red currant and blackberry fruit, lined with savory, sage and menthol notes. Fine-grained through the finish, ending with whiffs of cedar and tea. Drink now through 2027.
Product size: 750ml
From a private seller.