Notos del Sabor
In the glass, this wine greets you with a bright, sunny, vibrant yellow and doesn't disappoint from there. It offers aromatic layers of lemon zest, apricot and other stone-fruit as well as dried herbs. The palate serves up lush and full lemon cream and Meyer lemon bar which transition to a whipped key-lime finish. Although excellent on its own, this wine would pair well with a shrimp salad.
From the Chiles Valley nestled in the Vaca Mountains on the northeast side of Napa Valley. The appellation has a warmer and more continental climate than other portions of Napa. This is because the cooling fog and winds that moderate night temperatures in Chiles Valley retreat earlier then most of Napa after sun rise and thus grapes are allowed long hang-time and freedom to develop full concentrated flavors and complexities in an ideal Mediterranean climate.
This vineyard was planted with old Mondavi clones in 1975 and is some of the oldest vines in Chiles Valley. It is quadrilateral trellising and a Northeast/Southwest row orientation to maximize the sun's dappling rays on the fruit. Special care was given to canopy management in this vineyard to ensure the leaves sheltered the clusters from the harsh afternoon sun, but allowed the morning sunlight to gently penetrate the canopy to promote ripeness. There was an extensive program of crop thinning and weak shoot removal to allow only the strong tendrils and clusters to benefit from the vines' strength. A deficit irrigation program was employed to further stress the vines and focus the vines' energies on grape ripening and character development throughout the season.
The grapes were picked at first light on September 3, 2014 to maximize the intensity of esters and freshness. When brought to the winery, the whole cluster was crushed and 85% was fermented in stainless steel while the other 15% was fermented in neutral French oak barrels. None of the wine went through malolactic fermentation. It was blended, and aged in stainless steel for five months before bottling.
The 2013/2014 Winter was one of the driest on record in California and rainfall totals in the Napa Valley were approximately half of normal. However, the timing could not have been better: heavy rains in late February and early March gave a much-needed drink of water to the vines as they were emerging from dormancy and about to begin bud-break. While the vines sourced for high-quality wine production generally don't consume much water, a benefit of the drought is that berry sizes are typically smaller and therefore have more concentrated flavors, which contribute to the overall quality of this year's harvest.