2011 Penny Lane Vineyard Sangiovese, Oakville, Napa Valley
375 Cases Produced
Showcasing a jammy, ripe red fruit style so endeared to this noble varietal. The nose opens with camphor, bing cherries, and a dash of garden herbs. The palate has a depth and fullness to it that pushes ripeness in the direction of plum, black fruit with even a hint of cherry cough drop and barrel vanillin. This wine finds its support from fine acidity and well balanced tannins reminiscent of the prestigious Oakville Appellation terroir. Aged correctly, this wine will improve for 5 to 8 years or more.
The Penny Lane Vineyard is located in Oakville at the heart of the Napa Valley. This is a unique vineyard site at just 3/4 acre of Sangiovese and entirely surrounded by Cabernet Sauvignon. The 21 year old vines show that even fine Sangiovese can be grown in the land of Cabernet giants. Oakville has always been Cabernet focused and for any other varietal to survive, it has to be something truly special. Penny Lane Sangiovese has always held up to that standard. One way in which we achieve the full potential and complexity of the small acreage is by “dry-farming,” or demanding the vines grow without supplied water the entire growth season. Harvest took place late on October 11th, 2011. Temperatures were perfect. While low yields may anger growers, winemakers could not be happier. Approximately 5% “old vine” Charbonno from the Frediani Vineyard in Calistoga was co-fermented in the blend. Average Brix at harvest was 26.2 degrees.
A somewhat rare technique critical in the making of this wine is ripasso. Ripasso is an Italian term describing the use of the skins of one varietal during fermentation to lend its qualities to the juice of another. Italian Amarone wines are made in this fashion. Although very inexact in its science, it is a wonderfully artistic method and tool that when used correctly gives most Sangiovese proper weight and density. The old vine Charbono skins lend incredible amounts of flavor and dark purple color to the wine that it possibly would not have had otherwise. Via ripasso, we are able to give this wine the opportunity to marry from day one, resulting in a wine with much fuller body and ripe character. The wine was aged for 19 months in one-year-old used Francois Frères tight grain French Oak barrels. Indigenous malolactic fermentation was employed.