In every vineyard, there exist select parcels of land that yield exceptional quality. Since arriving at Star Lane, winemaker Nick de Luca has consistently observed this special nature in three vineyard parcels: blocks 24, 25 and 29. Not surprisingly, they are all contiguous and located along the ridgeline at the highest elevations in the vineyard which surpass 1,500 feet at the pinnacle.
These parcels form the nucleus of Star Lane's vineyard selection Cabernet Sauvignon, Astral, a Latin-based word that means "pertaining to or proceeding from the stars." According to Nick, Block 25 is always the guts of the wine. It's typically the first harvested and has enormous body. Block 24 lies at the highest elevation and is the most even ripening. This section of vineyard is planted with vines whose provenance is purported to be from the original clonal material at the famous Beaulieu Vineyard in Napa Valley. Planted in 2001, Block 24 is "own-rooted," which means the vines are not grafted to phylloxera-resistant rootstock. It's a calculated experiment designed to explore the essence of the way Cabernet Sauvignon was once grown for centuries in both the Old and New World. Block 29, the third parcel in the Astral trio is among the last to ripen at Star Lane. "These grapes always add nuance and pedigree to the blend," Nick says.