A great small-produyction Napa Chardonnay from Barnett Vineyards on Spring Mountain.
Hal Barnett told us he has contracted the same parcels, same rows for years so the flavor profile and style would have an estate character. Using two Dijon clones and a Wente clone of Chardonnay, then going 22% through malolactic fermentation, winemaker David Tate has produced a delicious Chardonnay. The wine is made in a style that Chardonnay lovers could sip alone, but has the backbone and structure to succeed at the table. There are interesting layers of flavor to savor, with a floral element buried in there. Very attractive. Rich and layered, with a mix of tangerine, nectarine, spice and honeysuckle. Full-bodied, ending with a spicy, citrus- and cedar-laced finish.
Barnett Vineyards is located off of the narrow windy Spring Mountain Road which connects Napa and Sonoma Counties – about 1.5 miles in. This is a small estate winery (founded in 1983 by Hal & Fiona Barnett) located on very steep hillsides with slopes up to 35%! Their original intent was never to build a winery but rather to have a weekend private getaway location from San Francisco. For a fairly small production they make a wide variety of wines – as of our latest visit, 11 different wines are made here. They are strong believers in unique terroir sites and will source fruit from a variety of locations (not necessarily within Napa) based on where specific varietals grow best.
One of the best Napa Valley Sauvignon Blancs we've discovered.
The Altamura Sauvignon Blanc comes from the winery's 4-acre 18-year-old dry-farmed vineyard which sits at an altitude of 850 feet. The wine is fermented and aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months resulting in a wine of great depth and complexity, displaying the flavor and textural profile more like a white Bordeaux than a California Sauvignon Blanc. Very limited production of 500 cases.
Rare white viognier from cult Napa producer Araujo. Limited.
Viognier was planted for blending with our Sauvignon Blanc, and is also used to co-ferment with our Syrah. An unreliable bearer, Viognier in some years provides us with enough crop to bottle on its own, producing a profoundly aromatic and seductive wine redolent of honey, apricots, orange blossoms and spice.