Spring Release 2015: 2013 A Vintage for Connoisseurs

The Spring wine release is always exciting for me. One reason is that it’s the first opportunity of each new year to communicate with you as a friend and supporter. You are naturally very important to me, as you have purchased and enjoyed the wines I make under my own Cattleya label.

Secondly, but no less important: THANK YOU! It means much to me personally and professionally to know that you have selected my Cattleya Wines as a brand to follow, believe in and collect for years to come.

Now, let’s talk about 2013.

Perhaps counterintuitive to ask: Can a vintage be both exhilarating and uneventful at the same time? My answer is: Absolutely! Those opposing notions are just how 2013 felt to me as a winegrower.

I say these contrasting words to express a year that presented ideal weather conditions for a healthy crop with high fruit quality. Perhaps “uneventful” is not entirely accurate, since Mother Nature always presents us with her “events.” Some years are just less dramatic than others; that was our 2013. Trust me, uneventful can be great—I’m not complaining!

For a winegrower, ideal conditions mean: Normal to low winter rains (limited water available in growing season), followed by a drier-than-usual Spring/Summer. However, the canopy growth was intense and fast-paced demanding focused attention to complete canopy management at the right time; followed by grape maturity taking place without challenging weather conditions. The result: slow ripening, great aromatic complexity and an ideal balance between sugar and acids.

It was a year for acidity and minerality in our Chardonnay from Pratt Vineyard. The beautiful clusters were full of perfectly healthy berries (as opposed to many years with low-yielding partial clusters), requiring us to keep a very watchful eye on the final crop level carried per vine. Thanks to the close relationship Jim Pratt and I have in managing the few rows of Cattleya vines, we were able to ensure that the crop ratio per vine was ideal for Chardonnay texture development, intensification of aromatics and preservation of great acidity throughout the maturation season.

Harvest took place on the evening/early morning of September 18th under cold and foggy conditions, marking the beginning of an auspicious vintage for Cattleya Wines.

How did we make the wine? Follow this link.

A life-changing experience, or as simple as pure pleasure?

2013’s perfectly balanced fruit gave us a unique and rare opportunity to show what Russian River and Sonoma County truly offer in world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. If you are a Chardonnay lover and enjoy drinking it young — and/or aged for years before opening — my 2013 vintage will be one of those you can feel good about putting away in the cellar. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Where are the tasting notes?

Changing the game on tasting notes — for this special vintage from the Pratt Vineyard, I invited Courtney Humiston, professional journalist and sommelier, to taste the wine and share with Cattleya fans her tasting experience as we walked through the vineyard on March 3, 2015. Courtney is currently the wine director at Charlie Palmer’s famous Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant in Healdsburg, and Consulting wine director for Valette Restaurant.

I hope you enjoy these three minutes of conversation from the vineyard. Then, let’s celebrate together the complexity and fascinating spirit of 2013 Cattleya Pratt Vineyard Chardonnay — a vintage for the connoisseur.

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From Sonoma County, CA. Bibiana González Rave
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