Notably deep in color, with aromas and flavors of intense black fruit led by black cherry, blackberries and wild mountain boysenberry. Elegant, polished tannins with a silky, full mouthfeel. Sweet oak joins sweet tobacco, notes of bitter dark chocolate and contrasting mocha. Balanced and well structured with a lingering finish and hints of oak spice.
This vintage is principally sourced from Diamond Mountain Ranch and the Peterson Vineyard, both in the Mayacamas Mountain range west of Napa Valley near the winery home in Calistoga. Steep volcanic hillsides notably produce deeply concentrated fruit in small bunches, with even smaller berries. Relatively steep as Diamond Mountain slopes from 800 to 1,700 feet above sea level, the vineyards are often above the fog line, receiving ample sunshine at cooler temperatures than the valley floor.
Winter rains helped signal the end of the immediate drought, but vineyards had grown stressed after multiple challenging years, resulting in modest yields for the season. A dry January was followed by a wet February, and temperatures remained mild, encouraging an early bud break to begin the growing season. Showers arrived in April, slowing the rapid advance of flowering and set. Early by historical standards, after harvest began picks moved at a leisurely pace as winemakers waited for ever more complex flavors to develop. The extended season helped balance acids and allowed layers of flavors to emerge.
Fruit was hand-harvested and hand-sorted, selecting only the highest quality fruit for fermentation in a combination of concrete and stainless vessels. The concrete tanks, relatively new to the winery, offered a significant purity of expression. Fruit was allowed to ferment for up to 15 days with regular pump-overs to extract deep color and rich flavors. The wine was then gently pressed, racked and aged for 18 months in 93% new French oak.