Concentrated, flavourful and well balanced
Spring and summer in California were just about perfect this year. A heat spike in early August in Carneros was about the only minor worry. Otherwise, a benevolent spring with no excessive heat to affect flowering, followed by a cool, steady August and dry, moderate autumn were the hallmarks of the optimal weather. As usual, irrigation kept conditions well-managed on the moisture front.
Ripening in much of California was uniform: the cool and steady summer weather allowing long hang time and a real chance for flavours to develop. Most winemakers say the overall quality of the fruit is excellent – some reckon this has been one of the best years for over a decade.
Tina Mitchell at Napa’s William Hill Winery for example says, ‘The reds are exhibiting loads of ripe, intense blackberry and plum flavours. This may be one of the finest growing seasons I’ve witnessed in 12 years of making wine at William Hill.’
Napa Valley, Mendocino County, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz Mountains
Caymus, Duckhorn Vineyards, Shafer, Chappellet, Chimney Rock, Niebaum-Coppola