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.
The third vintage of Dave Phinney's Disciples Red, the 2015 has arrived. The new Prisoner! Limited.
previous vintage 94 Points Robert Parker: "The Disciples Proprietary Blend, which is made from 93% Zinfandel and 7% Petite Sirah tips the scales at 15.7% alcohol. The Zinfandel plantings date from the 1880s and were better known as the source for Biale’s Old Crane Zinfandel. This wine displays spicy, peppery steak tartare, roast Provençal herbs, and briary black cherry and blackberry fruit. It has terrific body, length, richness and viscosity. It is a sensational Zinfandel to drink over the next 5-7 years."
From the new winery The Crane Assembly, the Disciples Red has quite a back story. In August of 2012, four friends (Dave Phinney, Darryl Browman, Kevin A. Fox and Bryan D. Sandoli) stood in the middle of a block of hundred year old Zinfandel. The vineyard was planted by George Beldon Crane in the late nineteenth century and is one of the icons of the Napa Valley. Hours earlier they had signed the paperwork to buy the vineyard and it was just in the nick of time...they picked the grapes the next morning. Since that first year wines were made from our G.B. Crane Vineyard under the el Coco label and the GB Crane label.