This 80-hectare estate was founded in 1978 when Gary Andrus planted the property's original vineyard in Stags Leap on a terraced hillside flanked by a ridge of pine trees. They now have vineyards across five sub-zones in Napa: four in the Stags Leap District, three in Rutherford, three in Carneros and one each in Howell Mountain and Oakville. This diversity gives winemaker Michael Beaulac many different blending options from which to choose each year, the results of which can be seen in the stunningly high quality of the wines they produce.
This Chenin Blanc comes from the Clarksburg appellation, referred to as the “Gem of the Delta”, which is over in the Sacramento river delta. There it is fairly warm with an almost constant breeze which helps to retain freshness and acidity in the grapes. The soils are made up of deep clay with excellent water holding capacity. The Viognier is sourced from Lodi, which has a classic Mediterranean climate, with warm days and cool nights. The San Joaquin/Sacramento river delta provides cooling breezes.
The grapes were destemmed and crushed upon arrival at the winery. The free run juice was combined with the press fraction to increase mouth feel. Fermentation took place at a cool temperature of 13ºC. The wine was aged in stainless-steel tanks without malolactic fermentation in order to retain the pure varietal fruit character in the final wine.
'This wine is of medium straw yellow colour, and the oily tears in the glass already suggest some richness. On the nose it has an excellent intensity of 'fruit salad', grapefruit, ripe peach, cantaloupe melon and mango, along with semi-aromatic lime-blossom, hints of mint, elderflower and white blossom; The palate is dry, but juicy. Again with ripe stone fruit and yellow apples, citrus peel, lovely zestiness and slightly tart refreshing finish. Delicious and easy-drinking.' Anja Breit, Philglas&Swiggot