2010 is sour koolaide compared with 2008. This 2010 vintage has separated into sugar and vinegar already in 3 / 4 bottles.
The 2009 winegrowing season in Paso Robles is best characterized as being warmer and dryer than average. Cabernet Sauvignon does well in dry years and 2009 was no exception. Winter rainfall was well below normal for the third year in a row, recording just half of the 12 inch annual average at our Home Ranch weather station. Cold temperatures in April limited vine growth in the first month after budbreak, but was followed by a warmer May with a one day spike reaching 104°F just after bloom. The added heat units helped to establish the leaf canopy necessary to ripen this Hilltop Cabernet just in time, as an unlikely rain event on October 13th delivered between 2.5 and 11 inches of rain to the region in a single day. This 2009 Hilltop shows significant tannin structure, and the regional expression of black currant, black cherry and chocolate are evident.