One each of:
Budbreak began on March 30th; cool temperatures allowed early growth to develop slowly. The fruit set was lower than normal but resulted in beautiful, loose clusters. The upper slopes were harvested in the early part of September, followed by morning fog, which elongated ripening for the remaining vines.
The generous spirit of Melbury reminds us of a jovial companion who enlivens an intimate dining table. This year, our friend delivers a more pensive charm than in years past. A touch of cardamom and hints of red fruit rouse an otherwise brooding nose. While the classic velvety texture is present, there is a gentle resistance on the tannins—a palpable reminder of the clay rich soils of this site.
2016 brought forward the character of this steeply sloped, south-facing vineyard. After bouts of summer heat, a temperate autumn helped bring together the subtle nuance of this site. Harvest began in mid-September and concluded on September 30th.
Quella is defined by an ethereal levity coupled with an agility and poise on the palate. Like a ballerina, the wine exhibits a light grace that belies its underlying energy and strength. The 2016 offers this and more, with supporting facets to the nose that are decidedly earth-driven. On the palate, it strikes a balance between fresh bramble fruits and savory minerality. The finish is intensely layered, revealing more of what lies beneath than typical vintages at this early stage.
The growing season began at the end of March and proceeded gracefully through bloom and veraison. Harvest started on September 21st and concluded two weeks later, after a total of 15 harvest passes. Yields in the old vines were quite low, but the expression of character was delightfully pure.
The virtue of St. Eden is hidden beneath its often voluptuous proportions, which can blind one to its depth of character. Aromas vacillate between ripe cassis and Provençal herbs. The entry of the wine is robust, but this impression gives way to fluid silkiness. The wine moves effortlessly across the palate, becoming exponentially finer, until it ultimately balances on a single focal point, giving birth to a persistent interplay of acidity, flavor, and texture.
Each year, this vineyard begins in its own rhythm and ends on a similar note; 2016 is no exception. Early in the ripening, the balance of flavor and quality of tannin were impressive. In September, we received muchneeded fog and cool nighttime temperatures, which preserved freshness as ripening continued.
The vertical structure of Vecina does not impose but draws you in with a noble calm. The wine’s nuance is often immured within its monolithic structure, yet this year, nature has rendered the full spectrum of fruit, herbal, and mineral aromas. Whether this generosity represents a rare glimpse of the softer side of this site or the future expression of these old vines, time alone will tell.
Budbreak began in late March. Bloom followed in sync, yet veraison came much later than normal. This delay helped the site to weather the heat spells in August, and as cool fog approached, the grapes were in pristine condition for harvest in the last third of September.
The Pluribus location on the mid slopes of Spring Mountain provides a unique lens through which to view the vintage. The nose of the 2016 is dark, with hints of spice and earth. An immediate energy electrifies the palate, as the wine’s many layers surface in staccato. This sensation ultimately expands and then softens, extending for a seamless and persistent finish.