Raised in the Sauternes region of Bordeaux, Winemaker Christophe Paubert's career has been haunted by the golden sweet wine of his homeland. Try as he may, the siren song of Botrytis cinerea - wine's "noble rot" - has proven too hard to resist. Intended as an exploration of the potential for late harvest wine made naturally within Napa Valley's borders, this balanced wine is ideal as an aperitif or with dessert.
Youthfully fruity, driven by aromas of tangerine zest, and layered with notes of macadamia nut. Ripe and juicy apricot dominates the palate and is complemented with a delicate blend of lemon, melon and candied kumquat. With a balanced, crisp acidity, this wine has an enviable freshness that will be a continued delight for the next 10 years. Over time a beautiful golden hue will be reveal and additional complex layers of kerosene aromas and fruit-driven flavors.
Crafted with Viognier grapes grown in the Carneros appellation in southern Napa Valley, located along the seaside on the north side of the San Pablo Bay. Here maritime fogs roll across, blown in by cooling Pacific winds and then burned away again by the generous California sun, cooling these vineyards throughout the growing season, allowing for ideal preservation of acidity.
The 2013 vintage began with a warm, dry spring that brought early bud break and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set. With no surprises throughout the growing season, temperatures were consistently favorable and even, resulting in notably healthy vines as fruit went through veraison and started ripening. The overall dry season made for a short harvest – one of the earliest and most condensed of recent memory.
The beauty of Viognier is captured when the varietals express freshness and acidity, and the traditional techniques used by Winemaker Christophe Paubert preserve that splendor in this late harvest wine. After the grapes had been left on the vines longer than usual, allowing for an on-the-vine-dehydration process called passerillage or passerillé to occur and noble rot to grow, they were hand-harvested, whole cluster pressed and fermented in neutral French oak barrels. Allowing the grapes to dehydrate on-the-vine, concentrates the juice, and creates a wine that is naturally sweet, fuller bodied and luscious in style. This wine does not go through malolactic fermentation which helps to preserve the delicate floral aromas, fruit freshness and balanced acidity.