Special attention was paid in the following areas: the grapes were handled gently upon arrival at the winery to maintain whole-cluster integrity; a maceration process was used to minimize the tannin extraction; and finally, the wine was aged in a higher percentage of used barrels to minimize oak tannins. Aromas of pipe tobacco, ripe Bing cherry and wild marionberry appear on the nose with hints of soft and elegant baking spices. The palate expresses dark fruit infused with pomegranate, toasted oak and mocha. The finish lingers with satisfying flavors of graham cracker, plum and well-integrated tannins.
Thirty years after first planting its vineyards, Girard continues to produce wine reflecting the quality that has made Napa Valley the most famous New World wine growing region in the world. Napa’s rise to fame was punctuated by a renaissance that began at the same time Girard was setting down its own roots.
Today, Girard is experiencing a similar rebirth of sorts. Longtime California vintner Pat Roney purchased the winery shortly after the new millenium. Pat’s career in wine began as a sommelier at Chicago’s renowned Pump Room. Later he returned to his native California, where he ultimately became president of Chateau St. Jean, in Sonoma Valley.
At Girard, Pat continues a tradition of making Chardonnay and Cabernet-based wines. But he is also expanding Girard’s varietal focus to Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, grown on century-old vines that dot the Napa countryside. As it has been in the past, Girard’s goal is to highlight the flavors of Napa Valley and its rich, ripe grapes. A small portion of the winery’s portfolio also comes from grapes grown in Sonoma’s upscale Russian River Valley, where cool weather offers ideal conditions for Chardonnay.