100% estate-grown Viognier (75% St. Helena Home Ranch Vineyard and 25% Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard).
Following early morning picking, grapes were held overnight in cold storage before pressing. Barrel fermentation with native yeast followed. The Viognier was aged for seven months in one- to four-year-old French oak puncheons before bottling in May 2015. The lees were stirred during fermentation enhancing the rich mouthfeel while preserving the wine’s inherent balanced acidity.
The mild Carneros climate of our new estate Viognier block from the Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard allows for long fruit hang time, showcasing delicate floral aromas and crisp acidity, while the Home Ranch Vineyard in St. Helena contributes richly expressive stone fruit flavors, spice, weight and texture. Each vineyard adds different varietal characteristics to the wine that blend flawlessly. The wine’s aroma presents a stunning mixture of citrus, apricot, white flower and jasmine that evolve to rose petal and tropical fruit nuances. On the palate, there is a balance of lush peach, pear and orange blossom with creamy, yet focused acidity that continues to the bright, lingering finish.
The 2014 Napa Valley growing season began with mild winter temperatures and dry conditions until February. Spring rains brought much needed moisture to the soil and filled our vineyard reservoirs. Bud break occurred three to four weeks earlier than 2013 with a long period between bud break and bloom. Frost was of no issue and the February and March rains provided for optimum vine growth. Consistent temperatures during the summer growing months with very few heat spikes created ideal ripening conditions for an early harvest. At the onset of harvest, the flavors and acidity were farther along in their development than the two previous years. Grapes achieved phenomenal fruit character early and their maturation occurred at a steady, even pace. Consistency in the blocks and intense flavors at harvest were key characteristics to 2014.