2018 delivered an ideal growing season to the Napa Valley. The vintage started with abundant rain followed by a fairly dry spring. The summer was mild and the weather continued to perfect during the fall, allowing for longer hang time and a relaxed harvest. The 2018 wines have tremendous color, depth, and purity.
The grapes were hand-harvested at night—when temperatures often dip to 50˚F—to capture vibrant acidity and fruit expression in the wine. We first cold-soaked the must (crushed grapes) for gentle extraction and then fermented the must in both oak puncheons and Italian-made concrete fermenters at 92˚F. Rigorous pump-overs, increasing during the peak of the fermentation, developed deep color, rich varietal character and fine tannins in the wine. The wine was aged in new French oak barrels to meld the bright fruit expression with oak spice nuances. After three months in barrel, the initial blend of the varieties is made so that the wine can marry during the balance of the 24 months of aging. To retain the wine’s full complexity, the wine was bottled without fining or filtration.