What a wonderful wine! Who would have guessed that Tempranillo would do so well in Calistoga? The wine is deep red with oodles of earth, chocolate and spice in the bouquet. The palate is rich and expansive with firm acids followed by beautifully integrated tannins. This is an honest, authentic wine reminiscent of an era when Napa was planted to a wide range of diverse varieties.
Vintage 2011 was challenging for winegrowing. We had a rainy winter and spring, which lead to late bud break. The last rain occurred in the middle of bloom for most of the varieties. In addition, the summer of 2011was similar to 2010; we had cold and foggy mornings, a good deal of humidity, and many pests to battle. All of grapes were harvested on October 18.
When we acquired our estate vineyard in Calistoga there were a few blocks of Tempranillo on the property. Since the grapes were under contract to another winery, we farmed the vines to their specifications. In 2011, a ton of fruit became available and we decided it was time to the explore the potential of this Spanish grape. Knowing that the variety responds well to Bordeaux winemaking techniques we destemmed and cold soaked the fruit for four days prior to a temperature-controlled fermentation. The wine was aged in used French oak barrels for 20 months prior to bottling in July of 2013.