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.
The 2015 growing season was marked by pleasant weather with little pressure from heat spikes or unseasonable rain. A dry winter was quickly followed by an equally dry spring, leading to an early bud break. Warm weather continued throughout late spring and summer, allowing for the steady development of flavors. The overall quality, complexity and balance in the vines produced exceptional fruit. The impact of the continuing drought was evident in slightly lighter crop loads, but the reduction in size was offset by an increase in quality as vineyard crews carefully selected fruit at harvest, allowing for only the finest to be chosen for this special bottling.
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 19 months in 100% French oak (66% new).