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.
Intricate and youthfully fruity, this Late Harvest White fills the mouth with sweet, alluring stone fruit flavors of apricot, peach, and nectarine, alongside hints of candied tangerine, orange marmalade, vanilla, orange blossom and delicate honeysuckle. For winemaker Christophe Paubert, the style is reminiscent of Sauternes from his hometown of Bordeaux, France, although highlighting alternative varietals. With crisp acidity and balanced sweetness, this wine has enviable freshness and a more opulent and viscous mouthfeel. Meant to be enjoyed upon release but will continue to evolve and delight for the next decade.
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.
After three years of plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage resulted in a less abundant crop, but the quality remained exceptional. The mild, dry spring conditions promoted an early bud-break and minimal heat during summer allowed the fruit to ripen at a steady pace through picking, which generally began a few days earlier than 2014. The drier-than-normal conditions contributed to the smaller berry size and low yields, resulting in wines with outstanding concentration and flavor, making the overall season ideal for producing wines of wonderful quality, and provided optimal conditions for this late harvest style wine.
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.
Varietal Composition: 100% Viognier
Cases Produced: 126