1999 was an excellent, long growing season that allowed for slow and steady development of ripe fruit flavors within the grapes. The modest harvest size produced grapes with great intensity of flavor and distinctive vineyard character from Hyde Vineyard. The two clones grown at Hyde Vineyard were picked separately and vinified separately before being blended into an initial cuvée in early 2000. Hyde Vineyard generally is an early to mid season ripening site coming in before most of the Russian River Valley fruit but after some of the Napa Valley sites. Despite the small crop we proceeded to do a vigorous selection and thinning of clusters right at the beginning of the ripening process to insure the highest quality for the remaining grapes. Another key for us was a careful hand harvesting and three separate sortings of the grapes. First, before the grapes were harvested we passed through removing any imperfect clusters, second during the harvest we hand sorted the fruit as it was placed in the harvest bins and finally we ran all the clusters over our sorting table just before the grapes went to the press. Tasting Notes: Delicate, yellow/greenish color; delicate, pure aromas of wildflowers and pear; perfumed flavors of nutmeg/clove lead into ripe & refreshing pear, kumquat and mineral notes with undertones of passion fruit and lime; long and refreshingly creamy finish.
Patz & Hall Winery
Patz and Hall Wine Company was founded in 1988 by Donald Patz, James Hall, Anne Moses and Heather Patz, and is dedicated to the production of hand-crafted wines. The four are long-time Napa Valley residents and wine industry professionals, with a wide variety of experiences. Patz and Hall produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines from selected vineyard sources in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Monterey counties. The Patz and Hall method is to work closely with each of their growers to achieve a unique expression of the vineyard site and deliver wines that reflect both the site and their vision for great 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 & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.