Wine Maker Notes
While world famous, Napa Valley produces only four percent of California’s wine—its fame comes from quality, not quantity. Its warm days balanced by cold nights from Pacific Ocean fog and its diverse soils contribute to Napa Valley’s quality factor. Almost half of the grapes came from Rutherford, in the heart of Napa Valley, and another quarter from Calistoga and St. Helena to the north. In these regions the nightly fog does not linger long into the morning, which creates ideal conditions for warm-loving Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. In contrast, Merlot prefers it chilly, so it was grown in Los Carneros, the southernmost and coolest part of the valley.After destemming and lightly crushing the grapes, we fermented the must in stainless steel tanks until dry. Up to a week of extended maceration enhanced the young wine’s rich color and varietal flavors, while malolactic fermentation rounded the acidity. During 16 months of aging, we clarified the wine with gentle racking. A combination of Bordeaux-style varietals, including Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, completed the blend.
Well-structured tannins give this wine the backbone to stand up to boldly flavored foods, as well as a plush texture that carries the rich dark-fruit flavors through the lingering finish