The 2006 vintage was a year of eventful extremes. Despite significant flooding in
parts of Napa Valley, winter rains did little damage at Hyde Vineyard where the
shallow soils drain extremely well. Rain continued into spring delaying bud break
by a few days. Mid-spring provided improved weather, as Hyde Vineyard experienced bloom along with a near perfect fruit set, followed by a July heat spike. Finally, the weather normalized through the month of August and the remainder of the season, consisting of morning fog and flavor concentrating
The wine has a dark ruby hue and shows a complex nose of intense floral and red fruit aromas. Scents of vanilla and sweet spices add up to the mix in a unique bouquet. The experience continues in the palate with soft and elegant tannins accompanied by a deep and dense middle leading to layers of fruit, spices and flowers. The wine is balanced and shows a unique definition of flavors and
persistence on the finish. It reminisces of a young Côte-Rotie or Saint Joseph with the opulent but restrained fruit of Hyde Vineyard. Our 2006 HdV can be enjoyed now after an hour of decanting and will certainly age well for 6 to 10 years.
Established in 2000, HdV stands for Hyde de Villaine – a collaborative venture between the Hyde family of Napa Valley and the de Villaine family of Burgundy. The families, joined by marriage, share long histories in French and American winemaking, and have combined their knowledge and passion to create uncompromising wines from Hyde Vineyards in Carneros.
The founders of HdV believe terroir is not only the interaction of the various natural components within an ecosystem but also the human contribution within that ecosystem. Due to this human component, vignerons, to an extent, help create the terroir. It takes decades, if not generations, of knowledge to understand a terroir – to properly respect it and be true to it (best row directions, varietals, selections of a varietal, etc.). It is this respect of the terroir that allows HdV to make fine wines.
Completed just before the 2003 vintage harvest, the HdV winery was designed and developed to accomodate every aspect of HdV's philosophy. HdV strongly believes in the gentlest handling of the grapes and minimal intervention in order to let the wines develop the characteristics that are true to the vineyard terroir. The fruit goes through meticulous sorting – during harvest by the pickers and after harvest on the table at the winery – so that only the finest grapes remain to make the wine.
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Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are delicate, yet complex, with firm structure and acidity. And while the pair are the most popular varieties of the region, some winemakers have branched out, particularly with Syrah. The cool climate Syrah of Carneros is well structured and stylistically similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhone, though often fuller-bodied.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.