Winter 2015 was the warmest on record, resulting in early budbreak. Cooler, wetter weather in spring months slowed development, however, leading to a challenging, extended bloom period. The resulting uneven fruit set translated to a small crop and smaller berries with very concentrated flavors. Weather throughout the summer growing season was consistently warm, bringing on a very early harvest. Napa Valley soils are comprised of broken down or decomposed rock that has been carried downhill from the eastern Vaca range and the western Mayacamas range to the base of the valley, where they intermingle with the silt, clay and gravel deposits of the Napa River flood plain. The fragment of Mendocino soil is iron-rich Red Vine sandy clay loam, and in the Russian River Valley, a gravelly Felta clay loam. This vintage’s blend sourcing is 89% Napa Valley, 6% Mendocino, and 5% Russian River.
This wine was lightly fined with egg whites and bottled without filtration in February 2017.
Our Claret follows the Bordelaise model of blending different Bordeaux varietals. Malolactic fermentation is completed in barrel, and the blend is assembled early so it is “elevated” as the finished wine.
Our 2015 Claret rested on its lees twelve months in French & American oak barrels, only 7% new, with monthly bâtonnage to coat the tannins, producing a luscious, cushioned mouthfeel.