Vintage 2013
Wine Type Red
Varietal Malbec
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Tom Rinaldi and Chris Cooney

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 mouthwatering Malbec pairs deliciously with lamb moussaka, beef stew, and eggplant Parmesan with fennel-spiced sausage.

Appellation: 85% Calistoga, 15% Mt. Veeder
Barrel Aging: 20 Months, 100% French Oak (32% New)
Varietal Composition: 100% Malbec
ABV: 14.9%
Production: 270 cases

Tasting Notes

The 2013  Malbec  exhibits  the  deep,  inky  color  and  intense,  dark-berry  notes  from  the  exceptional,  dry-farmed,  Peppone  Vineyard  in  Calistoga.  Layers  of  black  raspberry, brambly boysenberry and black cherry cordial expression are laced with hints of spice, graphite and toasted almond. Fruit-focused character is melded with the vanilla-oak spice of barrel aging giving the aromas of warm raspberry strudel. The Malbec’s flavors are juicy and plush, with fine tannins that carry the dark-fruit flavors through the persistent finish.

Vineyard Notes

We selectively hand harvested 85% of these grapes from one block of the Peppone Vineyard in the Calistoga American Viticultural Area (AVA) and then brought them to  our  winery  in  Rutherford.  This  vineyard’s  warm  mesoclimate  and  lean,  well-drained  soils  give  our  Malbec  its  highly  extracted  dark-fruit  flavors  and  characteristic  floral  and  spice  nuances.  Malbec,  a  prized  grape  variety  that  was  cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years, was nearly abandoned there in the last  century  because  it  yields  few  clusters  if  bloom  occurs  under  cool,  rainy  conditions.  Some  Malbec  cuttings  made  it  to  dry  Calistoga—at  the  northern  end  of  Napa   Valley—where   they   found   ideal   conditions   for   their   temperamental   personality.  We  complemented  the  juicy,  ripe  fruit  character  from  the  Calistoga  vineyard with a small amount of Malbec from Napa Valley’s Mt. Veeder AVA, which contributed interesting notes in the dark-fruit spectrum.

Vintage Notes

The  2013  vintage,  is the second  drought  year  in  Napa  Valley,  surpassed  even  the  highly  touted  2012  vintage  in  grape  quality.  A  winter  with  very  low  rainfall  was  followed by a warm, dry spring and summer with plentiful sunshine. These factors resulted  in  balanced  vine  canopies,  good  fruit  set  and  small,  concentrated  grapes.  Perfect  weather  throughout  harvest  fostered  intense,  beautifully  balanced  and  expressive wines.

Winemaking Notes

The grapes are gently destemmed to retain about 60 percent whole berries, and then cold  soaked  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.