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2018 Brut Napa Valley

Fresh and lovely as an aperitif to start any dining experience or perfect on its own, this sparkling wine pairs with everything, no matter what or when the occasion.

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Noting a very faintly salmon-tinged pink color, very fine bubbles and a gentle mousse, the wine opens with a fresh and lively nose of light strawberry and the scents one might find in a bakery early in the morning. The palate is delicate and refined, with toasted almond and unsweetened marzipan characterizing the entry. The beautiful but balanced acidity from these cool growing regions supports merengue, marshmallow and the strawberry flavors into the dry finish, livening up your taste buds for food.

This stunning Napa Valley sparkling wine is made from two of the three traditional grapes used in the Champagne region of France: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Pinot Noir (50%) hails from Carneros region, which is the coolest appellation in the Napa Valley, and straddles the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Pinot Noir adds texture, body and strawberry aromas to the blend. Chardonnay (50%) from the southern part of Napa Valley, which is known for producing great wine for sparkling due to the cool climatic conditions coming in from the Petaluma Gap, contributes finesse, elegance and grace to the blend. The tradition in Champagne is to blend grapes from different growing conditions and build complexity into the wine.
Champagne, along with Port, is one of the most complicated wines to make. Not only are the steps involved numerous and demanding, the winemaker must also see into the future what the still wine will taste like after the second fermentation and bottling. One must be extra careful in the handling of these grapes, especially red grapes like Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The Pinot Noir must be pressed quickly and gently so as to not extract any color or tannin. Each lot of grapes is vinified separately so one can extract the unique attributes of each wine and blend them together at the end. This sparkling wine is produced in the traditional Champagne method which entails adding a dosage sugar, yeast, and wine to start the second fermentation in the bottle, followed by time-consuming hand riddling to separate the yeast following fermentation. The traditional method creates small, tight, delicate bubbles and an added complexity to the wine.
Our 2018 Brut sparkling wine was disgorged in December of 2020 with the grapes grown in the 2018 growing season. The 2018 vintage in California was one that rewarded patience. A welcome reprieve from the string of hot, drought-prone years that preceded it, and the disastrous nature of the wildfires that impacted 2017, this new vintage granted Napa Valley and many other viticultural areas a ripe but balanced crop. The near picture-perfect growing season began with budbreak in late February. Spring was mild, with extended flowering yielding uniform grape clusters. Temperatures remained steady and warm throughout the growing season, without any significant heat spikes, making for an even, unhurried harvest. After a brief bout of rain at the start of October slowed things down a little, the slightly lighter-than-average (yet largest since 2012) crop size allowed continued ripening under gentle conditions.