The 2021 growing season was a prime example of why Napa Valley is such a great place to grow. The winter heading into the 2021 growing season was colder than average with a drier than average spring. There were four total heat events over the growing season with the May and September heat events being outside the typical range for that time of year. The rainfall for the year was below average for the fourth straight year, presenting a challenge for the grower due to irrigation ponds and wells being at levels that have not been seen since 2017. The summer growing conditions were exceptionally good, making for ideal berry development. Both bloom and veraison, which typically last two to three weeks each, were each over in about a week! The start of harvest was early due to September being very warm. This was good, because in October California experienced a series of atmospheric rivers that dumped 9.5” of rain that month. The yields for the year were below average, but from a quality standpoint, it was a vintage year!
The 2021 vintage was harvested from September 17th to September 28th. 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 in stainless steel, concrete and oak barrel fermenters at 88°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 60% new French oak barrels to meld the bright fruit expression with oak spice nuances. After three months of aging, we blended the vineyard components allowing them to marry for a total of 20 months of barrel élevage. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered to present the attributes of the vineyard in the purest form possible, from the dirt to the glass!