Aurielle Vineyards Sets Initial Release Date

Aurielle Vineyards, LLC a producer of hand crafted, limited-production, ultra premium wines from California, today announced that July of 2009 will be the release date for its inaugural wine, the 2006 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes that produced the 2006 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon come in equal proportions from two superb small vineyard sites in the Napa Valley mountain appellations of Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder. The vines were tended with quality as the overarching objective and thus underwent repeated cluster thinning and labor intensive canopy management. Yields were exceptionally small, averaging only two tons per acre. The initial release will be available via select, limited distribution to the world’s finest restaurants and wine retailers or direct from the winery to a select group of mailing list customers on an allocation basis. Only 303 cases of the 2006 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon were produced.

“What started as a dream 20 years ago has finally become reality,” said Frank Sterns, Aurielle Vineyards’ owner and founder. “I could not be more pleased with our initial offering. It’s just an extraordinary wine,” Sterns added.

The 2006 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon is rich dark ruby in color with good clarity and excellent viscosity. The nose is distinctive and speaks to the concentration and intensity of fine Napa valley cabernet grown in premium mountain vineyards by showcasing the aromas of stone fruits, tobacco and a hint of apple pie spice. On the palette, a core of boysenberry, plum and cassis is framed by cedar, chocolate, nutmeg, anise, violet, leather and black cherry. Chewy and concentrated with good structure and focus, the initial essence of berries and cassis gives way to a layered mid palate of violet and black cherry and a long lingering finish layered with hints of chocolate, cedar, tobacco, and leather. Mouth feel is rich and velvety with firm tannins that provide excellent structure. While accessible now, the wine is built for aging and will continue to improve with bottle aging for years to come.

The 2006 growing season was a superb one for mountain grown Cabernet Sauvignon, producing fruit with excellent maturity levels due to a longer and cooler than average growing season. Verasion occurred late in the season, which delayed berry development but enabled flavors to develop gradually without diminishing acid. Mid season heat was enough to promote sugars but not so much as to cause declines in acid. Cooler weather towards the end of the season kept the grapes on the vines for an extended period as flavors continued to develop slowly. Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder were both harvested the last week in October at optimum ripeness just in time to beat the early November rain.

As harvest approached, careful scientific analysis of both sugar and acid levels were conducted almost daily. The final picking decision however, was decided strictly by flavor profile. Harvest was conducted in the cool morning hours and the grapes were rushed to the winery for crushing and de-stemming. The must was then chilled to 55 degrees and the wine was left to cold soak for one week before a gradual rise in temperature enabled the natural yeast to begin fermentation. Twice daily punch-downs were conducted in small open–top fermentors. After fermentation to dryness was completed, the wine went through an additional three-week extended maceration process to extract maximum color and tannins that perfectly match the intense flavors of the mountain grown fruit.

A state of the art bladder press was used to extract the wine from the must and only free-run juices were kept. The wine was aged following a complex barrel program designed to create a unique and distinctive flavor and aroma profile of exceptional complexity. French oak was used exclusively with 80 percent of barrels being new and 20 percent being used once. Four different premium coopers were represented. The wine from both the Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder vineyard sites was aged in separate lots for 12 months during which time careful racking was conducted as necessary to clarify the wine. After 12 months, the lots were blended and extremely small amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc (less than 1½ percent) from Mount Veeder were added to increase complexity. After blending, the wine went trough an additional six months of barrel aging and racking as required, before being bottled un-fined and unfiltered after a total of 18 months in Oak. An additional seven months of bottle aging commenced before release.

For more information on Aurielle Vineyards visit http://www.auriellevineyards.com.

Talking Points

  • Aurielle Vineyards has announced that July 2009 will be the release date for its inaugural wine, the 2006 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • The grapes that produced the 2006 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon come in equal proportions from two superb small vineyard sites in the Napa Valley mountain appellations of Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder.
  • The initial release will be available via select, limited distribution to the world’s finest restaurants and wine retailers or direct from the winery to a select group of mailing list customers on an allocation basis.
  • Only 303 cases of the 2006 Aurielle Cabernet Sauvignon were produced.

About Aurielle Vineyards

Aurielle—from the Latin root meaning golden and inspired by the qualities of the golden ratio or divine proportion, the mathematical principal that describes perfection and balance in the most classical sense. The golden ratio is represented in the spiral of a nautilus seashell and by the most aesthetically pleasing compositions in music, art and architecture. It is where art and science merge to create masterpieces and it forms the essence of the no compromise winemaking philosophy behind Aurielle’s hand crafted, extremely limited production wines. Aurielle’s mission is to produce world-class wines of character and distinction by combining a solid understanding of the science of grape growing and winemaking with the art of a skillful winemaker unencumbered by constraints of production costs or quotas. With this mandate, Aurielle has forged long-term partnerships with winegrowers who have a passion for growing the world’s finest wine grapes and who choose not to deal with the demands of larger commercial producers. They work with Aurielle because they believe in our hand crafted, limited-production philosophy. For more information on Aurielle Vineyards visit www.auriellevineyards.com.