All the vintage blocks we use are from the best Napa Valley vineyards and tenaciously sampled by hand. The wine we’re making is intensely rich, full flavored, slightly fruit-forward and superbly balanced, but most of all showcases the source of the fruit. We don’t follow a strict “formula” but we do march to a certain drumbeat. We want clean, complete fermentations with no residual sugar, beautifully rounded and resolved tannins, great mouthfeel and low VA. This requires careful monitoring of the yeast population and attention to extraction levels, and a very specific wood program with only partial aging in new French oak. Slow, consistent and lengthy barrel aging—up to 3 years—without the roughness of the centrifuge gives us the opportunity to sculpt and develop wines which eventually blossom into their full potential.
Grapes are harvested by hand and loaded into small bins in the vineyards. They are hand sorted and inspected for complete ripeness once they reach the winery.
Whole clusters are cold soaked, gently pressed and fermented using specially selected yeasts to preserve the individual qualities offered by the vineyard. The wine is then placed in highest quality French barrels created by some of the finest cooperages in the world. While the wine ages in the cave for up to 36 months our team is constantly evaluating and judging its refinement until it is ready to be deemed The Black Bottle.