Fruit was harvested from our vineyards in Napa Valley’s most renowned appellations of Rutherford and Oakville. Known for their distinct terroir, these appellations impart their unique characteristics to the fruit, contributing to Charmstone’s overall complexity.
The 2016 harvest marks the fifth great vintage in a row. Although it was another drought year and yields tended to be a bit lower, the quality was very high. The year started out hot, then became cold, then turned hot again, and October began one of the heaviest rain seasons this region has seen in many years.
The berries were hand harvested at night, carefully sorted, and destemmed to tank, where fermentation took place. Then, the wine was racked to 50 percent new French oak barrels, where it was aged for 18 months prior to bottling.
The season began with restorative rain that refilled reservoirs and replenished resident soils after an extended drought. Harvest launched at a normal rate in many regions before progressing rapidly during a heat wave that ran from late August to early September. Cooling temperatures in mid-September slowed the harvest and allowed the fruit to ripen gradually and reach optimal maturity.
We hand-harvested the grapes in the cool hours of night to maintain freshness and natural acidity. The fruit was then cold-soaked for gentle extraction prior to fermenting the must in stainless steel fermenters at 92 F. Rigorous pump-overs, increasing during the peak of fermentation, yielded vibrant color and varietal character in the wine. It was aged in the barrel for 18 months (30% new French oak) to meld the bright fruit notes with the many nuances of the wood. Three months into barrel-aging, the wine’s components were blended together to marry flavors and aromatics. To retain the wine’s full flavor complexity, it was bottled without fining or filtration.