The cool vintage of 2011 allowed us a rather different approach in the vineyard than we normally get to have. Cool temperatures allowed a long hang time of fruit on the vine, contributing to ripe, yet elegant aromatics. It has notes of chocolate, blackberry and fresh black pepper on the nose. The textures are far silkier than recent vintages, creating a vibrant wine with flavors of toffee, vanilla, blueberry and currant. The tannins are well integrated, creating a wine for which Clos Du Val is known; balanced, elegant, and classic.
Harvest 2011 will go down as one of the most interesting and educational vintages in recent memory. An incredibly cool and wet spring had a big hand in reducing crop size, particularly in Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.With a light crop and a continued cool summer, the grapes ripened slowly and evenly through the season and into the fall months. Harvest began a few weeks later than normal, on September 12 with Yountville Sauvignon Blanc. Many of our top SLD and Carneros blocks were harvested before an unseasonable bout of rain began in late September. The continued showers and cool weather gave our winemakers many opportunities to be in the vineyard and evaluate ever changing conditions. With the latest ever conclusion to harvest on November 1, the winemaker is incredibly happy with a small, high quality vintage.
Clos Du Val, French for “small vineyard estate of a small valley,” was founded in 1972 in the now legendary Stags Leap District by Franco-American entrepreneur John Goelet. After a worldwide search to purchase vineyard properties from which to craft world-class wines, 150 acres in Stags Leap and 180 acres in Carneros were chosen, solidifying Clos Du Val’s iconic stature and formidable place in Napa Valley history.
82% Cabernet Sauvignon
7% Cabernet Franc
2.5% Petit Verdot
0.5% Petite Sirah
FERMENTATION: Traditional stainless steel tanks with 2 pumpovers daily
AGING: 18 months in French oak barrels, 25% new barrels
AGE OF VINES: 12-29 years
ACID: 5.9 g/L