2013 was a truly historic vintage for Napa Valley and this Pinot Noir most definitely reaped the benefits. This is a deep and intriguing wine. Cold and windy, the vines at the Heron Lake Vineyard struggle and this creates very distinctive flavors and complexity. Lovely dark fruit flavors meld effortlessly into a backbone of spice and oak with mouthwatering acid and ample minerality. This Pinot needs a little air to open up and will continue to open up beautifully for hours.
Olivia Brion is the first winery we discovered via instagram and we highly recommend you give @oliviabrion a follow. Proprietor David Mahaffey is a true adventurer, storyteller, and used to be a photographer and all of those passions come through in the Olivia Brion Instagram feed. David Mahaffey and his partner, John Newmeyer, pioneered the Wild Horse Valley AVA and the famed Heron Lake Vineyard (In Jon Bonné's top pick for Chardonnay in his 2015 top 100 wines went to Enfield Wine Company's 2012 Chardonnay from the Heron Lake Vineyard). The site lies between Napa and Solano counties at 1,400 feet of elevation. It's windswept and cool and the fruit and wines are beautifully unique.
Heron Lake Vineyard is in the south end of Wild Horse Valley, 1,200 feet higher than the Napa Valley floor and five miles east of Napa town. Wild horses frolicked in the cool climate of Wild Horse Valley in the 19th century, but since then the area has been the home of a gentler breed: grape growers. Grapes were first grown there by Joseph Volpe and Constantino Malandrino, who planted in the 1880's.
Today, the 3,300-acre valley has just about 40 acres of vines in two vineyard operations. Wild Horse Valley is a distinct viticultural appellation: while Napa Valley has hot summer afternoons, Wild Horse's proximity to the San Pablo and Suisun bays exposes it to cool westerly winds. That weather, along with the rocky volcanic soil, results in small yields and fruit of great color, intensity and minerality.More from this winery
Are the wines any good? Yes, they are and we taste every wine that is considered for our site. We seek out the best wines from the best small-producers in the U.S. and Winestyr is a collection of our favorites. Most of the wines have impressive accolades, however, don't look for "expert" ratings here - we think it's more important to buy wines you find interesting and to decide for yourself. Need some specific recommendations? Chat us in the lower right box or send our lead curator an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.