Harvest is always an exciting time in Napa Valley. An uncharacteristic hot spell in July accelerated sugar accumulation and it began to look like an early harvest was on the way. Luckily, temperatures moderated in August and throughout the remainder of the growing season extending hang time, allowing for phenolic ripening and intensifying flavor development. Ironically, the ongoing drought that was a culprit this year's lighter yields also created flavor intensity that has been described as "through the roof". This may well prove to be one of the best vintages in recent memory.
Vineyards & Winemaking
Calistoga AVA - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - September 23rd Harvest, 25.5 BRIX, Gubel Family Vineyard
Planted in 2000, the twenty one year old Cabernet Sauvignon vines in this valley floor vineyard are dry farmed, meticulously cared for and maintained to high viticultural standards, including being sustainably farmed. Calistoga's hot days help this vineyard create rich, fruit driven, full-bodied, red fruit flavors while its cool nights help maintain good acid balance, structure and power. The quality and intensity of this year's crop is exceptional and will produce beautifully expressive wines.
Atlas Peak AVA - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - October 19th Harvest, 24.2 BRIX. The Ranch Vineyard
Planted in 1999, by the Hendrickson family, The Ranch is a mountainside vineyard nestled between Mondavi Animo to the South and the Stage Coach to the North. It is quintessential Atlas Peak. At 1700 feet above the valley floor, it is above the fog line and receives maximum exposure to Napa's sunlight. Geologically, it offers rocky, mineral rich, volcanic soil that produces complex flavors and big tannins. The resulting wine will be dense, firm, and will show off rich fruit and chewy tannins.
Solano County AVA - Suisun Valley Sangiovese - September 28th Harvest, 25.8 BRIX, Lanza Family Vineyards
For the 2021 vintage, Monvitis will be adding a Super Tuscan style Sangiovese based wine to its line-up. Having received critical acclaim for these wines in the past our winemaker sought out a vineyard with exceptional terroir and the appropriate climate for growing Sangiovese. Nestled among the vineyards and rolling hills of the Suisun Valley was a perfect match. The Lanza family, having settled in the Suisun Valley from Northern Italy in 1944, has been growing beautifully expressive Sangiovese for decades. The fruit quality and Lanza's viticultural excellence show in the pronounced varietal flavors & aromas.
Harvest at the Winery
In addition to the varietals featured above, smaller lots of of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec from other exceptional vineyards are being made specifically for blending. It takes a great team and careful coordination between the vineyards and the winery to seamlessly take grapes picked cool between 2:00-4:00 a.m. and have them crushed at 5:00-6:00 a.m. before they begin to warm. The winery team showed exceptional dedication and diligence this year. This promises to be a great vintage!