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The 2017 growing season saw the return to a normal Napa Valley climate after years of drought. A much-needed wet winter was followed by a mild spring, giving the vines excellent growing conditions. Mostly even weather with a few pronounced warm days around Labor Day helped develop a rich, concentrated flavor in the grapes, but led to a slightly reduced crop size.
Each vineyard lot was hand harvested and fermented separately in small stainless steel open-top fermenters. Hand punchdowns during fermentation ensured a gentle extraction of color and tannin. The wines were then barrel aged for ten months in American Oak, after which our first blending trial tastings occurred. Once the final blend was made, the wine was returned to barrel and aged for another 14 months before bottling.
This wine begins with wonderful aromas of cassis, black cherry, and red plum that are complemented with subtle hints of clove, lavender, cocoa, and vanilla. The palate has a core of ripe, dark fruit enveloped with lush, balanced tannins that help carry the wine through to an incredibly long finish. The oak is present, but well integrated, and gives the wine an added layer of complexity. Only 146 barrels were produced.