If Abreu has a core, it is undoubtedly Madrona Ranch. It was the first property David fell for, and developed, back in the 1980s. The canyons and curves that snake through the site, the soils that range from red Aiken to white tufa to dark clay and rocks—it’s a magical site. Harvest picks are meticulous, often spanning weeks, but the diversity makes for incredible complexity, and plenty of blending options. Madrona is a working ranch too. In fact, livestock have laid claim to more than their share of real estate. Cattle, goats, pigs, chickens—even honeybees, which live in one of the old barns on the property. "We tend the animals and leave the bees alone," says David. "We do collect the honey though. We consider it fair rent."
The 2008 Madrona Ranch opens with an incredibly expressive bouquet. Espresso, mocha and licorice meld into dark red fruit and sweet exotic spices in this superb wine. The 2008 is an extraordinarily polished, refined wine for the vintage. Sweet spiced and floral notes reappear to round out the finish. The relatively high percentage of Cabernet Franc (37%) comes through in spades here. The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.