Alpha Mare White was born out of our mutual love of White Bordeaux. Those wines with their tantalizing mix of freshness and complexity, their subtle minerality, and full but clean texture have served as our inspiration. We source our fruit from the heart of the Coombsville AVA, in a vineyard named “Hestia.” Protected by a copse of trees and wild chaparral on the other side, this small vineyard is located in a low-lying swale of gravelly well-drained soils, much like the famous gravelly vineyards on the south bank of the Garonne River in the Bordeaux region of France.
Keeping the crop load very low and harvesting these grapes before the heat of the summer is the key to protecting this wine’s freshness. We harvest at night by hand and then press the grapes in a long slow press cycle. The juice is transferred into a combination of new and used French oak barrels for fermentation. We worked closely with our favorite Bordelaise cooperage to create a unique barrel specifically designed to support the fruit and mouth feel of this very special wine.
Our Alpha Mare White is aged “sur lie” for 18 months. During that time, it develops exceptional complexity and stability. The wine has freshness depth and grace. This complex wine has been built to last, just as it was in the old world when Bordeaux was most famous for its white wines, not its reds.
This wine is a study of breadth and focus. Aromatically complex with layers of fresh and dried herbs, ripe peach and apricot, fresh florals, and a subtle flintiness. Expansive yet lively on the palate, complementary characters of supple warmth sit comfortably alongside bright focused fruit. A refined flintiness reappears weaving into a savory and graceful finish.
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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 huge 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.