2006 Claret, Atlas Peak

The Atlas Peak brand is dedicated to the production of Napa Valley wines that showcase the best of this prestigious region. Our Claret is an intricate blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc sourced from the historic Atlas Peak Vineyard nestled high above the Napa Valley.

About This Wine

In the Atlas Peak Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc vines all reside in meager, well-drained soils. These shallow mountain top soils provide excellent drainage which puts the vines under mild stress and causes them to produce smaller berries with a greater skin to juice ratio. Grapes that are grown at high elevation, above the fog line, experience lower daytime temperatures than those on the valley floor, allowing them to stay cool while gaining maximum sun exposure. These wines are handcrafted by our winemaker to make more intense, structured, age worthy wines.

Winemaking

Throughout the growing season, the winemaking team walked each vineyard to determine when the grapes had reached the peak of maturity. The grapes were then harvested by hand into half ton picking bins and delivered to the winery. After de-stemming, berries were hand-sorted to ensure that only the best fruit went into the tank. The grapes were cold soaked for up to two days before the start of fermentation (which lasted five to seven days at temperatures between 85° and 90°F). This was followed by an extended maceration of up to 30 days to achieve the desired extraction of flavors. The wine was then drained from the tank and put into 100% French oak barrels (50% new) for 18 months of aging.

Vintage Notes

The 2006 vintage was dubbed a ‘grower’s year by many in the Napa Valley and has been summarized as ‘cool, dry, and late’. Most memorably there was significant flooding in the lowlands in the early months of the year followed by a dry spring marked by cool temperatures. A brief heat spell in July helped move the season along and indian summer finally kicked in late in September to assist in ripening. Solid viticulture practices implemented by our growers ensured fruit of high quality and optimal maturity.

Winemaker's Notes

The Claret is a traditionally inspired Bordeaux style blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Malbec, 15% Petit Verdot, 14% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc that showcases the power, structure, and elegance of these varietals. The 2006 vintage is vibrant with taut tannins, a perfumed bouquet, impressive density, compelling earth and spice notes, and a core of red and black fruit. The structure of this wine suggests that it will be long-lived and should cellar well. Pairs beautifully with Steak au Poivre and roasted red potatoes.