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2015 Seated Cloud sauvignon blanc

Appellation:
Napa Valley

Growing season notes:
The majority of the growing season was uncharacteristically warm which resulted in early bud break and bloom.  The temperatures then dipped in May, right at the peak of bloom which resulted in uneven fruit sets, lower yields and lots of hand sorting for quality control.

Winemaking notes:
The 2015 Seated Cloud was whole cluster pressed and barreled down to 100% neutral French oak for both fermentation and aging.  Prevented from going through malolactic fermentation, the wine retains its crispness but softens due to the barrel influence.  With this vintage, we incorporated battonage to the process.  What is battonage?  It's an old-world technique of stirring the wine on the lees which allows for prolonged yeast contact and results in a more refined balance and silky mid-palate weight.  
329 cases produced.

Tasting notes:
This wine is extremely layered.  There is lemongrass and a chalky minerality on the nose, followed by soft pear and light citrus on the mid-palate, with a lingering finish of caramelized popcorn.


2014 Seven Pillars Syrah

Appellation:
Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast

Growing season notes:
As noted, 2014 was a dry and warm season. In an effort to achieve a more northern Rhone style, we picked the Seven Pillars Syrah earlier than Jess' Block, at the start of October at 23.5 brix.

Winemaking notes:
This block went through 100% whole cluster fermentation in a stainless steel, open top fermenter.  We used the classic French pigeage a pied (foot-tread) treatment to extract color and to submerge the must into the wine during primary fermentation.  Native yeasts initiated both the primary and malolactic fermentations.  The wine was aged for ten months in neutral French oak barrels.
408 cases produced.

Tasting notes:
This is the equally beautiful but more easy-going sister of Jess' Block.  Black cherry, forest floor and eucalyptus aromas repeat in the flavor profile along with blackberry, black tea, tobacco leaf and grippy leather glove. Bright acids make this a perfect food-pairing wine. Wayne recommends drinking it right out of a water glass with a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs.  Extremely versatile, it is cellar worthy or accessible now.


2014 Seven Pillars Syrah - Jess' Block

Appellation:
Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast

Growing season notes:
2014 was another warm, dry vintage. Situated on a hillside, Jess' Block naturally ripens more quickly.  In our first year of owning the vineyard, however, we wanted to see what we could get with riper fruit, so we pushed the envelope and aimed for the perfect balance of ripeness and treatment.  We let the grapes hang until October 25th and picked at 25 brix, which is great ripeness for the cool Sonoma Coast. Contrary to expectations the vines were able to develop to an unexpected level of ripeness given a little sporadic rain, which would typically lower the brix.

Winemaking notes:
With our first pick of this vineyard, we also wanted to understand how the fruit would respond to different methods of fermentation.  25% of the fruit from Jess' Block was de-stemmed and placed in neutral fermentation vessels, while 25% was fermented as whole clusters, also in neutral vessels. The other 50% we also split into de-stemmed and whole cluster lots, which were placed into puncheon-sized barrels. We rolled these during primary fermentation for a gentle extraction of fruit and color.  All of the ferments utilized native yeasts for both primary and malolactic.  We then barreled down to 45% new Hungarian and 55% once-used French oak barrels and aged the wine for 12 months. 
215 cases produced.

Tasting notes:
Simply a beautiful and elegant wine. Warm hints of violet and mocha on the nose give way to opulent flavors of cocoa and blood plum with a whisper of finely ground coffee on the finish. Jess' Block is extremely age-worthy and Kara's personal favorite.


2014 MEANMOUTH CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Appellation:
Diamond Mountain, Napa Valley

The 2014 Meanmouth Cabernet is the first produced from the vineyard property that we now call home.

Growing season notes:
The 2014 growing season was a drought year, so the vines had to struggle quite a bit and produced smaller clusters and berries, full of flavor.  The temperatures were ideal throughout the season and allowed the fruit to ripen perfectly until our harvest on September 8.

Winemaking notes:
After we picked, we hand sorted the berries and fermented in a stainless-steel tank.  After primary fermentation, it was barreled down to 50% new French oak barrels and 50% two-year-old French oak barrels to complete malolactic fermentation. It was aged for 26 months in barrel and has since aged 10 months in bottle prior to release October 2017. 
416 cases produced.

Tasting notes:
Our 2014 Diamond Mountain is a gorgeous wine, full of dark berry, cassis and chocolate with hints of pomegranate and fennel.  Forest floor and minerality are also present in the 2014 Meanmouth, a hallmark of the redwoods present around the vineyard site and the rhyolitic ash in the soils.  While this wine will age beautifully for many years, it is able to be enjoyed now upon decanting.


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2014 Hard six CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Appellation:
Napa Valley

Growing season notes:
The 2014 growing season was a drought year, so the vines had to struggle quite a bit and produced smaller clusters and berries, full of flavor.  The temperatures were ideal throughout the season and allowed the fruit to ripen perfectly until our harvest on September 19.

Winemaking notes:
We hand sorted the berries and fermented in a stainless-steel tank.  After primary fermentation, it was barreled down to 50% new French oak barrels and 50% two-year-old French oak barrels to complete malolactic fermentation. It was aged for 33 months in barrel before bottling. 
72 cases produced.

Tasting notes:
Our 2014 Hennessey Ridge is a big, bold wine, easily our biggest to date.  Think ripe plum, black currant and freshly roasted coffee with a hint of dried herbs.  This wine will also benefit from time open or in your cellar, but won't disappoint those of you who love your big reds!


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2013 MEANMOUTH CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Appellation:
Napa Valley

Growing season notes:
The 2013 growing season was considered by most a "classic" for Napa Cabernet.  The dry, warm summer allowed for hillside vineyards like ours to ripen earlier than usual.  The 2013 vintage marks the first vintage where hand farming was accompanied by the start of our effort to wean the vines off of excessive water, and where we began our eventual move towards dry farming.  We also implemented a "no spray" philosophy where we farmed the Hennessey site without the use of any chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides.

Winemaking notes:
We harvested the fruit in early October.  The fruit was both cluster and berry sorted and fermented in a stainless steel tank.  After primary fermentation it was barreled down to 50% new French oak barrels and 50% one-year-old French oak barrels to complete malolactic fermentation.  It was aged for 28 months before bottling.  
95 cases produced.

Tasting notes:
This release has the hallmark dense black cherry expected from this site, with hints of dark chocolate, plum, allspice and pomegranate.  There is also a gravelly minerality which should show more prominently over time.  The finish is lingering and leathery.  The 2013, with its pronounced, grippy tannins, will age well for many years to come.  We recommend laying it down for another 6 months to a year or decanting now.