Selected from the dry-farmed Peppone Vineyard on Tubbs Lane in Calistoga. Barrel aging married the spices of new French oak with the inherent spiciness of Malbec. Historians believe that the Romans brought Malbec to France around 50 BCE. This rich, complex Malbec pairs especially well with grilled, spice-rubbed flank steak, lamb kebabs with mushrooms, and smoked turkey sausages.
Reflecting its provenance of dry-farmed, old vines in the Peppone Vineyard of Calistoga, our 2016 Malbec is bright and boisterous with ripe aromas of black plum, candied red raspberry, black cherry, blackberry compote, sweet spice and cherry pie. On the palate, notes of earth and peppercorn spice support the luscious dark berry fruit, savory boysenberry and rich dark cherry. The texture is silky, lithe and supple with dusty cocoa powder tannins that lift and carry the intriguing flavors that dance on the tongue through to the lingering finish. Barrel aging melded the wine’s fruit-focused character with the warm vanilla and spice tones of French oak. Only 295 cases were produced and they are available exclusively at our winery.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Malbec with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.
We hand harvested 100 percent of the grapes from old Malbec vines in the Peppone Vineyard in the Calistoga American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Northern Napa Valley. This vineyard’s warm mesoclimate and lean, well-drained soils gave our Malbec its juicy, ripe-fruit character.
We gently destemmed the grapes to retain about 60 percent whole berries, and then we cold soaked the grapes for three days for gentle extraction. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks was followed first by extended maceration before pressing and then by in-barrel malolactic fermentation. Barrel aging developed the wine’s flavors while seamlessly integrating French oak nuances.
Trevor grew up in nearby Sonoma County, one of the wine hubs of Northern California. Wine was a staple at his family dinner table, and he enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California, Davis. After an internship at Sonoma-Cutrer in 2003 and two consecutive harvest internships making sparkling wine at Gloria Ferrer, Trevor joined Moon Mountain Vineyard, a small, well-regarded organic vineyard in Sonoma, shortly after his graduation from UC Davis. In March of 2010, Trevor joined the winemaking team at Hewitt Vineyard and Provenance Vineyards and was appointed senior winemaker in 2015.
"From a winemaking standpoint, we have access to some of the best fruit in Napa Valley, not just from our estate in Rutherford, but also from Carneros in the south all the way up to Calistoga in the north. Our job is to make sure that each wine is balanced, complex, exciting and representative of its terroir."
|Oak Treatment||Aged 22 months in French oak barrels (40% new barrels)|
|Case Production||295 cases|