2015 Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot has the common reputation of being a grape that is best used for blending; primarily to add structure, color and aromatics to Cabernet Sauvignon-based cuveés. If the Cerro mark were to have a stated vision, it would be to showcase the genuine potential for this varietal as a standalone wine. Like its four Bordeaux sisters, Petit Verdot can be awkward and tough if not cultivated with special attention to local conditions and thoughtfully tended in the cellar.
With yet another nearly-perfect 2015 growing season in Napa Valley, vintners celebrated abundant yields and a third-straight vintage of world-class quality. In spite of (or perhaps due in part to) the ongoing drought, a warm, dry Spring gave grapevines a jump start on their March emergence. Ideal conditions continued throughout Summer, offering most producers the luxury of selecting their ideal time to harvest. Half of the fruit for this vintage was sourced from the namesake Cerrito Block,a meter-by-meter vineyard planted along the eastern edge of Rutherford AVA, with the balance coming from another vineyard eight miles south, in the Oak Knoll District.
Dark crimson to black in color, the nose presents classic varietal aromas of licorice, dried flowers, and leather. We employ a modest but lengthy oak regime of 40% new French barrels for 30 months complimenting the nuanced red fruit flavors.
$40 ~ 515 cases produced ~ Alc: 15.5%
Nichelinni Vineyard in Chiles Valley AVA, enjoys a slightly higher altitude and cooler temperatures than Napa's Valley floor. These conditions moderate the ripening process resulting in wines with firm flavors and restrained character. The nose has a Bordeaux-inspired, herbaceous quality. True Merlot lovers will appreciate this balance, with sweet red fruit, refreshing acidity, and soft tannins.
$35 ~ 230 cases produced ~ Alc: 14.3%
Napa Valley Vintners described the 2013 growing season as ‘early, even and excellent,’ reflecting once again the consistent quality for which this region is known. Not only were we blessed with warm, moderate temperatures lending to slow and balanced ripening, but we also enjoyed above-average yields throughout the region. Harvest in the Chiles Valley area commenced about two weeks earlier than average, allowing us to pick exactly what we wanted at the ideal time.
The 2013 Cerro, Napa Valley Zinfandel was harvested at peak ripeness on September 24 at Nichelinni Vineyard in the Chiles Valley AVA, just to the northeast of Napa Valley proper. The slightly cooler temperatures at this altitude yield grapes with a fresh and balanced character. Half of the harvest was picked from a block of Italian Primitivo clone vines and half from Old Vine Zinfandel, adding another rustic dimension to this blend. The light rhubarb hue was preserved with a long and temperate fermentation. Red fruit and robust spice drive the palate and blend with supple texture. Spirited acidity and tannin promise this wine excellent cellaring potential.
$35 ~ 230 cases produced ~ Alc: 14.7%