The inaugural release of the Pulido~Walker Policy Estate Cabernet Sauvignon signals the start of a new chapter for Mark Pulido and Donna Walker, who purchased the Policy Estate after their Mt. Veeder home was destroyed by wildfire. Although this vintage is the first from the estate made entirely on Mark and Donna’s watch, the vineyard is very familiar to us. We worked with Carmen and Gail Policy to plant it, and have been making wine from this fruit since 2006. The transition couldn’t have been more seamless.
As in previous years, we quickly determined that the wine from the Clone 7 vineyard block, planted nearest to the house, was the standout. Occupying roughly a third of the nine planted acres, that block has been a welcome surprise and has consistently produced the estate’s most concentrated, black-fruited, complex wines. It also imparts a slight blue-fruited top note suggestive of a cooler climate.
Because the Policy Estate sits south of the Oakville-Yountville border, the wines tend to be a little more savory than those from farther up-valley. That always makes them intellectually and gustatorily interesting—and presents an intriguing contrast to the other Pulido~Walker Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
Thomas Rivers Brown, Winemaker
Policy Estate Vineyard
Located on State Lane in the center of the Yountville appellation and surrounded by spectacular views of the Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges and the Stags Leap Palisades, our Policy Estate Vineyard site has a storied history dating back to the 1870s. Acquired in 2019, this 14-acre property is tucked behind the base of one of the few valley floor knolls, which influences the special microclimate. The planted nine acres show dramatic soil variations ranging from Bale clay to very stony loam with highly compacted alluvial deposits, as well as an intricate underground drainage system throughout the entire vineyard, which provides optimal conditions for exceptional quality.
Under the guidance of renowned vineyard manager Jim Barbour, Policy Estate Vineyard was planted to a careful selection of four elite heritage clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, grown in individual blocks to offer winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown maximum control in crafting an extraordinary single-vineyard Cabernet that reflects the unique terroir of this remarkable site.
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 20 months in 100% French oak (90% new barrels)
Barrel Coopers: Baron, Darnajou, and Taransaud
Alcohol: 14.3% by vol.
Titratable Acidity: 5.5 g/L
Bottling Date: June 2021
Production: 178 Cases
Appellation: Yountville, Napa Valley
Acreage: 9 acres between the Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges, on State Lane in Yountville north of Kapscándy Family Winery