David Abreu has painstakingly cultivated a style of winemaking in the Napa Valley over 30 years, focusing on the vineyards, soils and fruit, that has, deservedly gained him iconic status in the Valley. Born and bred in the Napa Valley, he produces iconic, single vineyard wines from his 28 hectares of vineyard.
The cabernet-driven blends, from the meticulous properties of Madrona Ranch, Cappella, Las Posadas and Thorevilos, are proof of his long-honed expertise as to what makes one vineyard exceptional, and another just great.
Five wines are produced, all in very small quantities. Madrona Ranch, Thorevilos, Capella and Las Posadas are single vineyard sites and Rothwell Hyde is a blend of all sites. Low yields, two sortings and co-fermentation by varietal and vineyard block are what makes these wines truly unique; 100 barrels are refined down to only 12,000 bottles.
ROTHWELL HYDE ESTATE RED 2016
The two primary components of the 2016 Rothwell Hyde were picked on September 24 and October 7. First, nearly equal parts of Cappella Cabernet Sauvignon were fermented with Cabernet Franc from the oldest blocks at Madrona Ranch. Then, a diverse selection of fruit from Madrona Ranch, Thorevilos and Las Posadas combines to form a dense, structural wine that complimented the elegance of the first pick. A barrel of each of three complimentary fermentations represent the best of the single vineyard components from Capella, Thorevilos and Las Posada.
The grapes at Thorevilos were harvested swiftly in 2015. Over the span of 8 days, three separate picks were made. It was obvious that 2015 was a different harvest when, on September 12, the Cabernet Sauvignon from the top terraces was fermented on its own. Four days later the very sparse Merlot was picked and combined with a larger quantity of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Finally, on September 20, the rest of the fruit was picked, including a large amount of Petit Verdot. Of the three lots, 15 barrels were selected to form the blend.
LAS POSADAS 2015
With an elevation around 2000 ft, the vines at Las Posadas were able to ripen fruit over a three-week period in 2015. This elongated harvest produced fruit of intensity, great depth and structure. a varied selection across the entire vineyard started on September 11. Three days later, another selective pick occurred across multiple blocks. These first two fermentations consisted of all five varieties planted at Las Posadas. On September 26, the core component of the 2015 final blend was picked from the area we call “The Corral”.
There were just two picks at Cappella. The first selection was from both blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon, each different clone and rootstock. This large tank yielded 8 barrels that formed the core of the wine. On September 22, the block that is split between Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot was picked in whole, along with the last few vines of Cabernet Sauvignon. These 5 barrels matched exactly with the 8 barrels from the first pick to form the final blend, which comprises of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 13% Petit Verdot.
MADRONA RANCH 2015
The first pick at the ranch is a scavenger hunt. On September 8, multiple blocks were meticulously combed for the most progressed fruit. Two days later, a larger pick of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, primarily from the lower blocks, was sorted over two days in order to get the most optimum fruit in the tank. The following day, the last fruit from the upper ranch was harvested along with a large section of the old vines at the base of the ranch. The last fruit was picked and combined in tank on September 17. The 2015 harvest was the earliest in more than 20 years.