Petit Verdot & Merlot Napa Valley 2014
About This Wine
On the nose: explosion of coffee beans, spicy lilacs, thyme with touches of cedar, cherry filling, clay, bacon
On the palate: velvety round entrance with granular tannins, touch of cherry pit balanced with cassis jam lingering on fresh plum with touches of violet, blackberry
Blend: 50% Petit Verdot, 50% Merlot
Fermentation: 50% barrel fermented, 50% stainless steel tank fermented
Aging: 20 months, 60% new French oak, 40% neutral French oak
2014 was a dream vintage, with quality along the lines of 2012 and 2013. Everything ripened in early- to mid-August, including Cabernet Sauvignon, which usually ripens much later. Napa Valley's harvest was unusually early, not surprising given the state’s ongoing drought, which was so extreme that the cover crops in many vineyards never took hold. Substantial rain in late February and early March relieved most of the stress and set the vines up for a vigorous start. "Early" was the key word all season, from budbreak to veraison to harvest. The vintage proved to be a balance between 2012 and 2013. We had some heat spikes that delayed the phenolic ripeness and forced us to push extraction quite hard. The ripeness was there, but the color and tannins really took time to come out. Our 2014 red wines are powerful but with great structure. Patience was the key to this vintage.