Hyde de Villaine (HdV)

California: Napa Valley, United States

Belle Cousine, Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley — 2017

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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

    • Subterranean: Ancient terraces and alluvial fans

    • Vineyards: Hyde Vineyard, at the eastern edge of Los Carneros District
    • Vineyard Owner: Mr. and Mrs. Aubert de Villaine, Mr. and Mrs. Laurence W. Hyde, Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Hyde III
    • Appellation: Los Carneros, Napa Valley
    • Size: 5.87 acres
    • Vine Age: 17 to 33 years
    • Soil: Haire Clay Loam
    • Exposure: South by southwest
  • Vintage Report

    • The 2017 vintage will always be remembered. The winter months were wet and cold, allowing the vines to rest after their productive 2016 campaign. Bud break occurred in March, with a mix of warm and cool days, frigid nights and several rain episodes during the early stages of flowering. These conditions resulted in a low, uneven set.

      A warm dry pattern followed through the end of August, until two major heat waves hit in early September, dramatically affecting ripening conditions. As a result of the intense heat, the vines shut down and the brix and acidity levels in the grapes flatlined for the next three weeks. In late September, the vines came back to life and gave us one last push, resulting in wines with harmonious balance and freshness.

      Harvest started the third week of August and was concluded by the first week of October, right before traumatic wildfires scorched through Napa and Sonoma counties, giving a catastrophic end to an already challenging vintage.

    • Harvest Date(s): September 12 (Merlot); October 12 (Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vinification

    • Barrel Aging: 21 months in French oak; 20% new
    • Bottled: July 19, 2019; unfined and unfiltered
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 40% Merlot, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Alcohol: 14.2%
  • Tasting Notes

    • Deep aromas of black cherry and dark chocolate are balanced by cassis and anise. Subtle tones of tobacco and coffee round the palate for a full and rich finish. Perfumed violet and bright acidity bring feminine influence, offset by a robust tannic structure and subtle herbal notes in this highly ageable Bordeaux blend.



  • Hyde de Villaine Belle Cousine, Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley — 2017 – James Suckling – 94 Points

    Aromas of blackcurrants and sweet tobacco with some dried earth. Hints of dried herbs, too. Medium-to full-bodied with black olive and blueberry and hints of firm, chewy tannins. Fresh and juicy finish.

  • Hyde de Villaine Belle Cousine, Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley — 2017 – Vinous – 93 Points

    It is bold but also rustic, with brawny tannins that add to an impression of wildness. Dark fruit, tobacco, chocolate, spice and strong savory accents fill out the layers.