2012 Olivia Brion Pinot Noir
Heron Lake Vineyard, Wild Horse Valley
All estate grown fruit, fermented in open top fermenters. Gentle handling of the grapes is the rule. "Not a single seed is to be broken during harvest and fermentation." Twelve months in French oak barrels, heavy toast, very tight grain, and toasted heads from various premium coopers.
Black cherry and black currant flavors adorn this elegant yet generous young red wine, with baking spices, (signature in every vintage) sandalwood, cedar, blood orange, sassafras, and truffle notes adding depth. The structure is still compact, but it opens rapidly in the glass to a plush mid-palate. It has a lovely sweet core of fruit and usual very long silky finish. It is going to be great fun to watch this classic 2012 vintage pinot come into its own over the next several years. As in the Chardonnay from the same cool hillside, the signature ground-rock minerality is there right below all the fruit notes. Great vintage, 2012 will be remembered as a one of the best!
2012 Olivia Brion Chardonnay
Heron Lake Vineyard, Wild Horse Valley
100% barrel fermented, Native yeasts and malo-lactic fermentation complete. Eleven months in new and once used French oak barrels.
This lovely Chardonnay bridges the paradox between purity and complexity. At the same time it has the pure fruit notes of lemon and white peaches as well as the layered flavors of creme brûlée, baked apples, and quince jelly. The structure is elegant and stylish, the mouth feel is fresh and lively, yet deeply flavored without being weighty. The finish goes on for two minutes. As in every vintage, the minerality from our very rocky hillside is present and accounted for. Because of the unique vineyard site, the chardonnay wine is also unique. This wine is featured in many of the best Napa Valley restaurants, like Morimoto, Press, and The Thomas.
2009 Palladian Cabernet Sauvignon
Protected by trees along the perimeter, it’s a cool Cab site by Napa Valley standards and located in one of the best appellations, St Helena. The resulting wine captures a Bordeaux-esque acidity and complexity. Get wild red cherries, cigar box cedar, red currants, ruby grapefruit, mineral, graphite and dried wild herbs. Complements many foods, especially savory dishes.
Native yeast fermentation in small (one ton) open top fermenters. 25 Brix at harvest, Finished alcohol, 13.9%
Twenty-two months barrel aging in French oak, 25% new, in the cave, bottled and held on the Estate for an additional three years at 55 degrees before release. The goal is give the wine an ideal period of bottle development. The Palladian temple pictured on the label is near the winery on the estate. In architecture and wine, balance and proportion are everything.
This Estate grown and bottled Cabernet is the first vintage that I have elected to label as a "reserve" bottling. I chose the best barrels of the vintage for this wine, 350 cases produced. The structure of the wine has both volume, richness, and very silky tannins. With the extra years of bottle development, true bouquet layers are well evolved. Classic cabernet fruit notes are very present and floral notes from, I believe, from the Cab Franc. This Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most structurally balanced wines of my thirty five vintages of winemaking. Drinkable and very rewarding now, patience and additional years of aging will be rewarded by even more complexity.
2012 Olivia Brion Syrah
Que Syrah Vineyard, Napa Valley
Very forward aromatics, unmistakably cool climate Syrah. Smell and taste blueberries, coco nibs, dried bay leaf, smoked meats, with a lovely floral violets lift at the end. As the wine opens up in the glass, I taste wild sand plums, white pepper notes, and a little licorice. Rich expanding mid-palate weight. This Syrah continues to open for hours and hours, auguring a long life. The Que Syrah vineyard is situated on a steep, rocky south-facing hillside in the southeast corner of the Napa Valley. Unique vineyard and unique wine. Only 110 cases produced.