A throwback vintage reminiscent of the before times, 2023 growing season in Napa Valley delivered incredible phenolic depth and complexity. After a decade of drought, vines had been pleading for water. 2023 began with one of the coldest, wettest winters on record. The plentiful rain provided the much-needed drink while chilly temperatures delayed budbreak across Sonoma and Napa by two weeks, ensuring vines would be safe from early spring frosts which plagued several properties in 2022.
The late start, in concert with moderate temperatures throughout the growing season, allowed grapes to mature slowly while keeping sugars in check. The milder, balanced weather patterns revealed the most evenly ripened vintage of recent memory, with tremendous potential of cellaring due to ample acidity and tannin structure. While Mother Nature delivered a unicorn in terms of quality, the 2023 harvest season was anything but easy. With many grape varietals ready to be picked at the same time, tricky maneuverings abounded as winemakers juggled the logistics of incoming fruit and available tank space while tackling hundreds of fermentations and press loads. The experience and can-do gumption of the cellar team were essential to navigate such a challenging Harvest labyrinth.