Hyde de Villaine (HdV)

California: Napa Valley, United States

Belle Cousine, Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley – 2013

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  • Introduction

    • The name Belle Cousine is a reference to Pamela Fairbanks de Villaine, Larry Hyde’s lovely cousin who is the wife of Aubert de Villaine of Burgundy. It is Pamela who brings these visionary viticultural families from Burgundy and the Carneros region of Napa Valley together to make wines that express the character of place, with that rare minerality so dear to the Burgundian palate.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Vineyards: Hyde Vineyard, at the eastern edge of Los Carneros District
    • Appellation: Los Carneros, Napa Valley
    • Cultivation: Sustainable viticulture
    • Size: 5.87 acres
    • Vine Age: 13 to 29 years
    • Soil: Shallow loam over clay hardpan
    • Exposure: South by southeast
  • Vintage Report

    • 2013 was a Napa Valley vintage for the ages. The drought brought us a warm, dry spring that prompted another early bud break. Steady temperatures and optimal weather continued through spring and summer with no significant heat spikes, which enabled even growth and ripening throughout the year. The crop was small and of exceptional quality, with tremendous concentration, color and texture. Though significantly higher than usual, tannins were not harsh or aggressive, and their fine, polished texture has integrated beautifully with time.

    • Harvest Date(s): September 13 & 16 (Merlot) and September 27 (Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • Vinification

    • Fermentation: Cold soak in upright oak vat; 15% saignée; 21 days skin contact
    • Malolactic: 100%
    • Barrel Aging: 21 months in 60-gallon barrels, 25% new French oak
    • Bottled: July 29, 2015; unfined and unfiltered
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 70% Merlot
    • Production (in cases): 600 cases (9L)
  • Tasting Notes

    • Pretty blackberry and blackcurrant notes on the nose are brightened by a pinch of spice. In the glass, a clean black fruit core fills the mouth, warmed by layers of mocha, earth and subtle hints of mint and cigar box. Very firm, polished fine-grained tannins provide structure and extraordinary persistence, with promises of even greater length in time. Even in its youth, this wine is fresh, deep and harmonious, with characteristic 2013 power and grace. It should age exceptionally well. —Stéphane Vivier, Winemaker