Hyde de Villaine (HdV)

California: Napa Valley, United States

Belle Cousine, Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley — 2020

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  • Introduction

    • THE WINERY: Hyde de Villaine was co-founded by the Hyde family of Napa Valley and the de Villaine family of Burgundy. Aubert de Villaine, Co-Director of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, married Larry Hyde’s cousin, Pamela, bringing the two families together. Hyde de Villaine wines represent the shared histories and winemaking philosophies of these families and one iconic single vineyard.

      THE WINE: 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. Belle Cousine is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that varies each vintage; Merlot from Niebaum selections and Cabernet from Bordeaux-origin selections.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Certifications: Napa Green Land and Fish Friendly Farming

    • Appellation: Los Carneros, Napa Valley
    • Location: California
    • Cultivation: Sustainable, Solar, Vegan
    • Vine Age: 20 to 36 years
    • Soil: Haire Clay Loam
    • Exposure: South by southwest
  • Vintage Report

    • 2020 gave birth to wines full of character and personality, emphasizing the strength and resilience of Hyde Vineyard. The growing season was defined by extreme drought conditions and intense heat, creating challenges for even growth and ripening. Yields were light but the resulting wines are of precision and concentration, accompanied by brighter natural acid and pronounced minerality. Despite the challenges 2020 presented in the vineyards as well as our personal lives, we are proud of the wines we were able to create to commemorate Hyde de Villaine’s 20th anniversary!

    • Harvest Date(s): September 29 (Merlot); October 7 (Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • Vinification

    • Barrel Aging: 25% new French oak
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 35% Merlot, 65% Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Alcohol: 14.2%
    • TA: 5.6 g/L
    • p H: 3.6 g/L
  • Tasting Notes

    • Fresh black cherry and blueberry compote are greeted with aromas of violet, tobacco, and menthol. Intriguing hints of apple cider/mulled spices are met with savory bacon. The integrated tannins build in the finish and bring a reminiscence to crunchy strawberry and cranberry. This is a wine that has brooding potential while also still being approachable in its youth (decanting recommended).
      Guillame Boudet, Winemaker