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2014 Violetta, Late Harvest
The Wine: Our classically-produced late harvest wine is the result of Botrytis cinerea, a beneficial mold that evaporates moisture while concentrating the flavor in the berry but yielding very little juice when we press the grapes. We fermented the thick, rich juice and then aged the wine in French oak to develop its subtle flavors and textures. Rich aromas of ripe pear, Mandarin orange and honeysuckle lead to a lingering, harmonious finish. Violetta is spectacular when paired with desserts that echo these flavors, such as fruit tarts, creme brulee and rich cheeses, or serve it all by itself to end a special meal.
Vintage: For the third year in a row, Napa Valley experienced an exceptional vintage, aided by neardrought conditions. Bud break came slightly early, and the modest temperatures through the growing season helped preserve moisture. Harvest started and ended about two weeks earlier than normal, producing superb quality. Harvesting Violetta required many passes through the vines and plenty of patience as we waited for botrytis to develop.
Vineyard: The grapes were grown at our American Canyon vineyard, which is certified organic. Carefully planting vines in the lowest spot of this cool vineyard, we’ve created the perfect conditions to capture the low-lying fog needed to grow botrytis- affected grapes. In two small blocks we planted a field blend that’s predominately Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling with some Gewurztraminer, and nurtured it to encourage botrytis. Because of the unpredictable nature of botrytis, this wine takes a tremendous amount of work, including several passes to pick individual clusters as they become cloaked in the mold that creates this unique richness and flavors in wine.