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Out of the three Dana Estate owned vineyards, the Lotus vineyard located on St. Helena hillsides, stands at 1200 feet above sea level with a beautiful panoramic view of the Napa Valley floor.
This steep hillside vineyard is spread over the rocky, low-yielding soils with Western exposure. Thanks to the influence of the afternoon sun, the wines shows ripe and rich fruitiness while the three to twelve inches, fractured grey bedrock soil generates the marked mineral structure to the wine.
“This is incredibly dry, well-drained soil that has very low water holding capacity and in dry, warm vintages it reflects outstanding a level of grape ripeness,” Vawter sums up.
Lotus Vineyard embodies our philosophy of minimal intervention in the vineyard. The steep rocky hillside forces the site to be 100% hand farmed. The rocky volcanic soils force the vines to look deep for water, nutrients, and minerals. The results are balanced vines that produce very low yields of small intensely flavored berries with thick, dark skins.
We began harvest on October 7th with the Petit Verdot. Our Cabernet pick began the following day with clone 4 Cabernet which is located in the heart of the vineyard. We finished picking the vineyard a week later harvesting clones 15 and 337 on the same day. The wines were fermented with native yeast and macerated on skins for 19-29 days. The grapes held onto their tannin and color more tightly in 2019 requiring more aggressive extraction maceration; therefore, we had to work harder with extra pump-overs and punch-downs later into the fermentation to realize the full potential of the vintage. The wine was then taken off the skins and put directly into barrels, then the wines were blended in the spring after harvest, left to age without racking until bottling.
The 2019 Lotus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of fresh blackberry, cassis, pencil lead, and a hint of toffee and toasted pecans. Opulent flavors of black plum and blackberries mingle with wild herbs, caramel, and cacao. The wine captures the essence of the vintage with its broad plush texture and dark fruit mingled with savory spices. Enjoy 2023 through 2038 and beyond.
The winter and early spring brought ample rainfall to the Napa Valley. A dry April was followed by one of the wettest May’s on record, providing much needed hydration. The moist soils meant the vines had access to nutrients, especially potassium, resulting in full canopies and softer acidity in the wine. The cooler weather through mid-summer slowed shoot growth and delayed verasion by a few weeks. In mid-August the season heated up with 90+ temperatures through the end of September. This allowed the vines to catch up with sugar and color accumulation after the cool wet start to the season. Ideal weather conditions in October allowed the fruit to ripen to optimal maturity without the threat of rain or heat spikes. The 2019 wines reflect the vintage with opulent fruit, silky tannins, and savory structured finish.