“2014 Miracles Do Happen” Grower Report by Lee Hudson
2014 provided us with generous, well-proportioned wines and our third consecutive glorious harvest. The growing season started with impending drought but in February seven weeks of rain filled both our soils and our ponds. Warm soils and a frost free spring contributed to the earliest bud break in memory. Bloom past with mild, near perfect conditions producing a nicely balanced crop. Early bud break and a mild summer prompted the earliest harvest of the last 30 years. We were well underway with harvest when on August 24th when we were shook up like a rattle snake bone by the West Napa earthquake. Despite its destructive force we harvested and crushed the following day, finishing up harvest one month ahead of 2013. A near disastrous drought, a calamitous shaking, and three beautiful harvests in a row; sounds like a miracle to me.Winemaker Comments by Christopher Vandendriessche
The 2014 was eager to please with solid yields in the vineyard coupled with high quality. One area of remarkable success was with the Cabernet Franc and Merlot in block D, our prized source for the Old Master. The fruit was picked in early September and another year of small berries brought concentration and structure to a complex wine. As with all of our wines, minimal intervention took place in the cellar as we let the fruit do the majority of the work. New French Oak amounted to a total of 60% providing additional framework and polish to the wine's naturally tannic structure. Both the Merlot and Cabernet Franc lots were barrel aged separately for 12 months and then blended and aged for another 8 months (in barrel) prior to bottling. The wine has been further bottle aged for an additional 14 months prior to release. We firmly believe that the expression of our 2014 Old Master has been the finest to date. Violets, black currants, saddle leather, pipe tobacco, energetic with fine tannin.