2010 LaReina, Estate Bottled

Wine Notes


Napa Valley, St. Helena

The Calafia Estate Vineyard is located in the center of the St. Helena appellation on Fulton Lane between Main Street and the Napa River. The soil is Bale Loam and contains a fair amount of cobble from the Napa River, which increases our drainage. The vineyard was planted in 2000 and one block was replanted in 2004 due to the discovery of Leaf Roll Virus II in Cabernet Clone 337. Currently the vineyard is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon 20% Malbec and 10% Petit Verdot. All of our clones are “new” from the ENT A V certification program in France.

Vintage Notes:
The 2010 growing season started off well with a moderate spring: not too cold or wet, resulting in a “normal” fruit set. The summer was also moderate: warm but not hot. At veraison there was a judicious thinning or green harvest to remove green or pink fruit. The fall heat was also moderate and harvest began normally but in mid-October we had a heavy soaking rain of about five inches. Fortunately, sunny, breezy and low humidity weather ensued and we were able to let the fruit “hang” and recover lost maturation time. Finally, full skin and seed maturity was achieved. The resulting wine had excellent color, fruit profile and mature, fine-grain tannins.

Fermentation & Aging:
The grapes were crushed October 27. The Brix (sugar) was 25.1 and acid was 6.3 grams/liter. The must was thoroughly sorted, removing all green “stem jacks.” Fermentation took place in an open-top tank and punched down (pigeage) 3 to 4 times per day. Pressing was very gentle, using a traditional wooden basket press. The barrel-aging regime was 30% new and 70% once filled French oak using Chateau-Ferre style barrels that ware very tight grain. The staves were air dried for 30 months and received a medium toast level. This combination of factors allows the oak to seamlessly integrate with the wine giving a supportive, background structure with fine-grain tannins, along with toasty oak nuances in the aroma and flavor profiles.