Blend: 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Mark Herold, the winemaker, is an artist who has a strong science background. He hold a PhD from UC Davis. Mark is much like a painter in the way he composes his wines. He can come across as easy going and free spirited, but he is adamant about a few things in winemaking: he uses cool climate fruit for producing our Cabs and with our reds; there is no fining or filtration.
We source our Cabernet fruit from six different vineyards along the Vaca Range: Stagecoach Vineyard on Atlas Peak and we use some smaller, virtually unknown vineyards in Napa's newly recognized Coombsville Appellation. Both Coombsville and Atlas Peak are prized for their cooler climates. In years when the valley floor is hot, and growers are concerned with heat spikes, high sugars and evening rais-ining. The cooler hills have a more temperate growing season allowing for longer hang time. This extending hang time allows for flavor development and preservation of acidity of the grapes.
Lastly, they use all 100% French oak barrels, 95% of which are strong or heavy toast. Also, a generous percentage of our barrels are produced by Darnajou. Darnajou is the sole barrel provider for Chateau Petrus, one of their favorite French wines. They like to say that Darnajou is very "French" in its way of thinking: they will only sell barrels to you if they like your wine. They are very proud of the fact that their wines passed the test and are in the company of the outstanding wines of Chateau Petrus.
Vicki and Tom, along with their children-Vincenzo, Olivia and Benedetto currently split their time between Michigan and Napa Valley.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.