ALCOHOL: 13.6%, PRODUCTION: 594 cases, WINEMAKER: Colin McNany
NAME: An ‘exponent’ of varietals’ potential, part of SIlicon Valley’s vines/science heritage.
A warm, dry spring brought early bud break, helped with canopy vigor and berry size and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set under sunny skies. Temperatures were consistently in the zone for optimal vine activity, resulting in notably healthy vines as fruit went through veraison and started ripening. The August 1 start of harvest in Napa was the earliest in recent history, however, Santa Cruz was roughly 2 weeks behind, which put us slightly earlier than schedule, dependent on site. A little extra hang time gave us thicker skins for deeper flavours.
Exponent is a cuvee from a variety of local vineyards, each harvested at optimum ripeness, brought in over the course of harvest, and fermented in small isolated bins. Each lot is destemmed, 100% whole berry, hand sorted, and cold soaked for 3-5 days. Post cold soak, we foot tread the fruit on preparation for inoculation. Punchdowns occur 3 times daily, where fruit will be pressed off skins anywhere from 10-25 days. Merlot typically is pressed with 4 brix remaining to preserve the fresh fruit aspect. All vineyards are then isolated to individual barrels, undergo 100% native malolactic fermentation, and aged for 11 months in a combination of American and French oak, with roughly ⅓ new American oak. Individual vineyard barrels are hand selected, racked once to tank, and gravity fed unfiltered to bottle.
Quite big and savory on approach, this purple hued wine brings elements of bosenberry, black currants and charred madrone wood. The palette drives forth with tight grain peppercorn tannin and firm acidity, making this an ideal match for red meats and rich pastas. Don’t be afraid to decant prior to endulgence.
Delicious now, but has the ability to age up to 8 years.