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2008 Napa Valley "Haynes Vineyard"

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About the Vineyard...
This block of the Haynes Vineyard, located in a cool pocket of the southeastern Napa Valley, is a part of California wine- making history. Mt. George, the once-active volcano that coated this region with its characteristic layer of volcanic soils, looms to the north, and in the upper blocks of Haynes, original vines, planted in 1966 by Pat and Duncan Haynes, continue to produce balanced, fully-ripened Pinot Noir, boasting ethereal perfumed aromas and a delicate and elegantly silken texture. Fernando Delgado has lived on and managed the care for these wizened since 1970. The vines are old Martini selection, planted under the auspices of Louis Martini, Sr., himself. The Haynes Vineyard, in a part of Napa little known to the world at large but oft-lauded by locals, attracted none other than the great Andre Tchelistcheff, who believed strongly in this vineyard’s potential to make great wines and was an early winemaker on the property. This is a one-of-a-kind vineyard, possessing a singular terroir, which we endeavor to give a full and unmitigated expression in this limited bottling.
About the Vintage...
The difficulties of this vintage only helped to emphasize the beauty of established, healthy, old vine root systems. These old vines withstood the stress of the drought and produced healthy, ripe fruit of a decadent concentration. The vines achieved a level of balance naturally, in the face of extreme weather conditions, and what started out like difficult year resolved itself into a solid vintages. The normal elegance of this vineyard is complemented by a distinctly more concentrated fruit component and rich tannins.
About the Wine...
This wine represents one of the most unique viticultural projects we have endeavored to undertake. One of the potential downsides in working with vines of this age and from this origin is the amount of old vines that have succumbed to viral infection. In order to cull only the finest fruit from the healthiest vines, we walked the entire block, checking each vine individually, and identifying and tagging the healthy, disease-free stock. At harvest, we picked only the ripened clusters from the healthy, tagged vines. We fermented the wine in an open-top fermenter, with traditional hand punch-downs. The wines enjoyed a lengthy eighteen months in Taransaud Bourgogne cooperage. 54 cases produced.
Tasting Notes...
Light in color, gossamer in texture, this is a wine emphasizing grace and balance and subtle textures. The nose is airy and lively, belying its complex and layered nature. Initial fruits of strawberry, cranberry, and dried cherry intermix with butterscotch, blood orange zest, lilacs, rose petals, and sandlewood. On the midpalate, the fruit concentrates somewhat, fresh summer cherries and ripened, cured black cherries. The palate is especially bright and expansive, with a silken texture. It finishes with a light, understated grip, and moves backward through the finish. The fruits and spices of the palate nicely mirror the nose, however the finish continues to evolve toward more earthen and mineral notes, as it coats the entire palate and continues to reveal new aromas.