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2016 was an extraordinarily epic vintage. It was the fifth consecutive outstanding vintage, and at the time of harvest, we thought it was the best of the decade. All of our fruit slowly matured and ripened, containing the proper phenolics that we strive to have every vintage. We had a decent winter, which meant that we had more irrigation water and more control of hang-time on the vines. With more hang time came more complexity and character, creating more balance in the vineyards. With a total production of 562 cases of the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, this elegant powerhouse all hails from highly-esteemed, volcanic Napa areas such as the Pritchard Hill area, Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak, and our very own Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard (35 feet below Howell Mountain). We’re honored that this wine recently won GOLD at Texsom (back-to-back years!), arguably the most prestigious wine competition in the country featuring 19 Master Sommeliers and 16 Masters of Wine on their judging panel.
In typical bold fashion, the 2017 Audere comes out guns blazing with lots of extract, some serious tannin, and a full-bodied mouthfeel. This blend hails from ultra-premium, volcanic Napa areas such as the Pritchard Hill area, Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak, and Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard (35 feet below Howell Mountain). It is an exuberant, rich wine with red cherries, oodles of black fruits, and coffee notes. Very reminiscent of the inaugural 2013 Audere, this is sure to please even the biggest Sideways-Loving, Merlot-Hater!
With only 239 cases produced, the 2017 Russian River Valley Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay may just be the best Chardonnay produced to date. Being the second Chardonnay vintage that Phillip Corallo-Titus worked on with Ralph, there’s more acidity and balance than in previous vintages. Robert Parker’s Erin Brooks described this vintage as having a “softly, savory character” and a “long, juicy finish”. Jeb Dunnuck mentions that this wine reminds him of an old Meursault: “it’s full-bodied, ripe, and opulent, yet has good acidity.” This is a delicious wine that showcases more sophisticated restraint than previous vintages while carrying the typical elegant style you’ve grown to love. Be sure to chill it down until the lions change color, and then you’ll know you’re at the proper serving temperature!
The 2017 Signature Mountain Blend is once again a delectable representation of what our Estate Rockwell Ridge Vineyard (blended with Howell Mountain, Pritchard Hill, & Atlas Peak fruit) can produce, making this wine very near and dear to our hearts. This limited case produced wine holds its own on the Hertelendy line up. Claimed by the critics as a “beautiful wine that “...explodes from the glass”. It’s the closest wine in our program that could be called an “Estate wine” with most of the blend coming from our very own Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard located 35 feet below the Howell Mountain AVA. Dubbed by many over the years as “The Petrus of Napa Valley”, we are thrilled to get this wine from our Estate to yours.