Bottling Date: July 22, 2016
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Titratable Acidity: 6.07 g/L
Time in Oak: 22 months
Type of Oak: 25% new
La Vaquera means “cowgirl” in Spanish. This wine is our cowgirl, a wild and rich wine, borne out of a love of deep dark big berried varieties, a new and bold blend with little head for the traditional. The main vineyard source of this wines is from the hot northern reaches of the Calistoga AVA from a vineyard appropriately owned by the Swickard Family, renowned ranchers of Five Dot Farms. This wine is a blend of our richest, darkest and juiciest wines. Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Malbec and make up the main voice of the blend.
2014 was the driest year on record in California history and it was a stunner. Bookended by a God sent early spring rain and a 6.0 Earthquake, it was a reminder to count our blessings. While dry, temperatures were relatively mild, not breaking 100° F the entire season. This easy going growing season allowed us to find the “just right” window of physiological maturity and peak flavors to harvest our vineyards with conditions for ripening, maturation of tannins and concentration of flavors. The majority of the fruit for our Alpha Mare comes from vineyards in the warmest part of the Napa Valley, namely Calistoga. We love the intensity and lushness of the flavors we get from the lean soils and wide temperature swings from day to night.
The 2014 La Vaquera is an invitation to celebrate what we can do in California with big berried varietals. From start to finish this wine is a study of dark inky purple and deep ripe fruit. Inviting brambly aromas of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, licorice and cracked pepper give way to ripe, jammy black fruit compote and a richly layered and textured palate with heft and volume. Once in the mouth, the mid-palate is punctuated by fine talc and opens nicely to a counterpoint of delicate powdery florals lifting ripe black plum, vanilla and white tobacco to a pepper and creamy espresso laced finish. This is an energetic, flavorful and robust wine.