Newton Vineyard, Moët Hennessy’s Napa-based winery, has launched three single-vineyard wines from sites that are separated by no more than 30 miles.
The three sites – Spring Mountain, Yountville and Mount Veeder – are all planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, and each boast completely different terroirs.
‘Spring Mountain has volcanic soil, so it is acidic, shallow and sandy,’ explains Newton Vineyards winemaker Alberto Bianchi. ‘At its highest point of 1,600ft, it’s the highest vineyard, and consequently the coolest. The vines face in all directions.
‘Yountville is on the valley floor, with clay soils that are rich in organic matter. The wines are consequently more fruit-forward and representative of Napa.
‘Mount Veeder, meanwhile, is on the plateau of a mountain, resulting in a big diurnal range. We pick this vineyard one to two weeks after the other two, which is a big difference. As a result we get better tannins and flavours, and the sugars don’t go up as much as Yountville. We also get smaller berries here, resulting in more concentration of skin to the juice.’
The differences between the wines are decidedly marked, with Spring Mountain being more delicate and savoury, with blueberry, redcurrant, a bouquet garni character, along with some cocoa and fine tannins; while the Yountville is more muscular, with deeper black fruit notes, some pineapple, sharp plums, decent drying, chewy tannins and a toasted wood hint.
The Mount Veeder, meanwhile, needs more time in the bottle as its pronounced tannins still feel a bit spiky, but it’s showing great promise, with a beguiling nose of red and black fruits, pencil shavings and violets.
With only 1,000 cases of each, they’re an excellent masterclass in the differences you can get between single vineyards.
‘When we went to make [blended wine]The Puzzle, we were astonished by the difference between the parcels,’ explains Bianchi. ‘We are talking about 30 miles maximum difference. So we decided to bottle them separately. You need much more ageing in bottle, but what we wanted was to show the difference you can have with Cabernet in Napa.’
Moët Hennessy UK, 020 7808 4400