Alpha Mare is the leader of the herd. This wine is Anne’s carte blanche and represents the best of her craft and experience in winemaking. Her heart and soul are in this work.
Barrel fermentation in small 225L oak barrels results in slower, cooler fermentation. The shape and size of the barrel produce a submerged cap. Gentle and consistent, this method of extraction gives mouth-filling, lush, and juicy tannin structure. The use of native yeast adds to the complexity, and a co-fermentation of Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Verdot and Malbec creates a round, vibrant, and pleasing wine with intense color and depth every year.
Our tiny production 2016 Alpha Mare is bold in the glass. Just after it lands in the glass, it fills the room with warm fruit-filled confectioner aromas. Rum-soaked dried fruits, cola, and shortbread play together, giving you the feeling you are in a pastry shop that is also selling loads of fresh berries. Aromas of sappy cedar fill an already overstuffed profile creating a lovely complexity. The mouth is full to the brim. Generous body, delicious ripe fruit flavors are cradled in a subtle acidity. The tannins are like suede, elegant, and very supple. It has a long, fruit-driven finish that is, at the same time powerful, yet restrained and elegant.
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The 2016 vintage is the last of Napa's recent drought years. Luckily, late spring rains helped recharge the soil profile giving a strong start to the season. The early season started off well with no frosts or big temperature spikes. After the cool spring of 2015, this uneventful spring was welcome. Mild temperatures continued into August and allowed for outstanding flavor development and retention of acid. 2016's moderate yields and ideal temperatures are apparent with the expressive fruit flavors and freshness showing in the glass.