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: 22 Months, 100% French Oak (40% New)
Varietal Composition: 97% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc
Production: 425 cases
Reflecting its provenance of dry-farmed, old vines in the Peppone Vineyard of Calistoga, our 2014 Malbec brims with juicy black plum and brambly boysenberry notes. Nuances of violet, chocolate and graphite layer the dark-fruit expression. The vibrant acidity, plush texture and supple, round tannins carry the inviting flavors through the lingering finish. Barrel aging melded the wine’s fruit-focused character with the warm vanilla and spices tones of French oak.
We hand harvested 82 percent of the grapes from old Malbec vines in the Peppone Vineyard in the Calistoga American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Northern Napa Valley. This vineyard’s warm mesoclimate and lean, well-drained soils gave our Malbec its juicy, ripe-fruit character. We complemented these grapes with Malbec from the Yates Vineyard in the Mt. Veeder AVA, which contributed interesting notes in the dark-fruit spectrum. Three percent Cabernet Franc from the Tamagni Vineyard in the Calistoga AVA added the finishing touches to our 2014 Malbec wine.
Dry, early and shaking is how 2014 will be remembered in Napa Valley, yet it had a silver lining with small, concentrated berries and high quality. February’s rains brought the total rainfall up from low to adequate”, helping to relieve three years of drought conditions. Warm temperatures promoted early budbreak in spring and accelerated grape maturation. Just as harvest began, a dramatic 6.0 earthquake shook Napa Valley awake on August 24; Provenance was fortunate to come through unscathed. We finished the very compact, plentiful harvest by mid-October and celebrated the vintage’s “ripened to perfection” grapes.
We gently destemmed the grapes to retain about 60 percent whole berries, and then we cold soaked the grapes 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.