It’s time for our Fall wine releases, and we’re proud to share two new wines with you. But first, a word about this year’s harvest which was our fifth, and boy did it come early and end quickly due to crazy heat spikes followed by rain.
This year’s growing season started out with some frost and hail in the upper part of Napa Valley centered around St. Helena. Things settled down into a nice pattern of warm days and fog-influenced cool nights – the perfect scenario. Then on September 4, things really started to heat up, literally, with five days over 100 degrees, reaching 114 degrees one day in the Wildcat Vineyard on Mount Veeder. Some wineries opted to pick before the heat, but for the Bordeaux varietals that meant picking prior to optimal ripening. We all were counting on the vines bouncing back from the heat and resuming normal progression and then came a Sunday with 1.5 inches of rain.
After waiting a couple of weeks, we ended up harvesting at the end of September, a good two weeks earlier than last year but at optimal ripeness. We completed our picks the following week, finnishing well before we typically have started our previous harvests. For comparison, we used to picked Cab Franc the week of Halloween.
The yields from Mount Veeder and Conn Valley were considerably lower due to raisining during the heat spikes. so we made a lot less wine than last year. However, the quality of the grapes is quite promising, and the flavors are well developed. We’ve put the wines in barrels to begin the aging process and will follow their progress.
On to our Fall Release which includes two new and very limited-production wines, including our first white. We only made 50 cases of each and very limited quantities remain after releasing them to our Wine Club members.
2019 Mt Veeder Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a very special bottling of our two best grape lots from the Wildcat Vineyard. The lots were kept separate and aged for 24 months in 100% new French Oak before blending, then returned to barrel for two more months to achieve integration. The result is a silky, smooth and voluptuous Mount Veeder Cab that’s very balanced and fruit-driven. Oak and fruit notes drive the nose out of the glass, and the wine arrives on the palate with a complete front-to-back finish.
2021 Anderson Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Our first white wine comes from a cool-climate vineyard in California’s Mendocino County not too far from the Pacific. It’s bright and crisp with focused tropical and citrus notes and minerality.
We hope you enjoy our Fall wines over the holidays and, in the case of the Barrel Select, for years to come. Since we didn’t make red wines in 2020 due to smoke from the wildfires, we’re depleting our 2019s as we wait for our 2021s to finish aging. We’ll begin releasing some of those wines next year. You can view our release schedule at the bottom of this page of our website.