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Welcome to EMH’s website and the release of “Black Cat” 2015!


April, 2017

The 2015 EMH Black Cat Cabernet Sauvignon is our 16th vintage, continuing the line of wine produced from single-vineyard fruit grown on EMH's property. The 2015 growing season was marked by some freezing temperatures and the need for frost protection in April. We moved from budbreak through bloom and fruit set cautiously, although there is little a farmer can do about the weather. The lack of winter rains affected some of the canopy, and veraison appeared early, with more than 50% color showing by mid-July. We brought in a scant 2.2 tons of fruit on August 22nd - the earliest date in our history. People ask why we harvested so early, and I have only one answer: because it was ready! Brix were 24.3.

We have 6 barrels of wine sitting in French oak, a combination of Marchive and Nadalie barrels. Only one of the barrels is new oak, with the balance of the barrels having been used one or more times. The low Brix (for Napa) and the light use of new oak allow the fruit to come forward as naturally as possible. We will bottle these 2015s the first week of June.
Twenty-five cases will be bottled under the new "Lady Sapphire" label. Following the well-received "Sparkles Selection" from the 2014 vintage, we became more confident in bottling one wine from a single barrel. Barrel number one, a once-used Marchive barrel, stood out each time we tasted. Lady Sapphire is a one year old kitten who I selected to join our family after the loss of Sparkles, the original Black Cat. The "Lady Sapphire" bottle is dressed up in a splash of sapphire blue, in addition to the traditional silver print and capsule.

Lady Sapphire: “An intriguing bouquet of cherries, with hints of anise and cedar with a floral overlay. The bouquet follows to the palate, with medium weight and tannins. Supple and well balanced.”

Thirty-five cases of 750ml bottles and thirty 1.5L bottles will be bottled as our "Special Selection," and the remaining eight-five cases will be sold under what has become known as our regular "Black Cat," the wine we have produced since the year 2000.

Special Selection: “Perhaps more ‘high-toned’ than the Lady, with cherry, pomegranate, and some graphite. Nice acid-tannin balance. A pretty wine but with some muscle, this one just feels like a good candidate for cellaring.”

Black Cat: “A deeper fruit profile, rich and somewhat brooding. Notes of graham cracker and toast, medium tannins. Classic Black Cat.”

Our tiny operation produces wine exclusively from Cabernet grapes grown on our less-than-an-acre vineyard, with no additions of purchased fruit. What is in the bottle directly represents what is grown in our vineyard. Most people who taste more than one vintage of EMH’s Black Cat are impressed with the consistency of quality and character emerging from each vintage we produce. We hope you will enjoy the 2015, and that you will discover for yourself what makes the Black Cat so special.

Looking Ahead – 2016

For 2016 we again had a small yield, producing just 6 barrels (or approximately 150 cases) of wine for EMH. Early sampling shows the classic Black Cat flavors you have come to enjoy, and with the extraordinary color this vineyard naturally produces.

So welcome, or welcome back! We look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy and cheers!
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Merrill Lindquist, Grower/Owner, EMH Vineyards
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