We selected the grapes for this vintage from some of the best sites in Napa Valley, including Stagecoach Vineyard and vineyards in Oakville, Stags Leap, Coombsville and on the Silverado Bench. The 2015 season was warm and dry, and one of the earliest we’ve seen. It started with warm temperatures in late winter and spring that led to an early bud break. A cool May during bloom created a smaller than average crop, then mild weather through spring, summer and harvest allowed slow, even ripening that built full ripeness and complexity. The result was grapes with intense aromatics, concentrated ripe fruit flavors and outstanding structure and balance.
The grapes were hand-harvested in half-ton picking bins and hand-sorted before destemming and partial crushing.
The grapes were fed into small lot, open top fermenters for a 3-day cold soak before primary fermentation. A small percentage was barrel fermented. The wine remained on skins for more than two weeks with alternating punch downs and pump overs, then was gravity fed and gently pressed in our basket press.
The wine was gravity fed into French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging. We kept barrel lots separate until the blend was assembled in August then sent back to barrel to allow flavors to integrate. Barrel aging was entirely in French oak, 97% new, for a total of 20 months, then another 12 months were spent in bottle.