Bounty Hunter Wine & Spirits in Napa Valley has made it our business to track down the hottest wines the world has to offer and serve them via our catalog, our Wine Bar & Smokin' BBQ in downtown Napa and on our website. Our blog provides a unique, insider's view into what we do every day...taste wine, visit our winemaker friends, tour wineries, attend events and of course, stop to enjoy the simple things in life...food, friends and wine.
Here at Bounty Hunter headquarters we’re surrounded by what
looks to be another terrific harvest in progress. We checked in with our
winemaker Tim Milos for the lowdown, and here’s what we scribbled in our
Tim Milos, Winemaker
Napa Valley 2015
Across grape varieties, the crop yield is relatively low, due to lots of spring
shatter (which leads to less berries being created), but almost uniformly
gorgeous. A light misting rain in mid-September was quite helpful, giving the
grapes a bath and a little sip before the final push. The heat wave of early
September had driven up sugars, but the weather of the last few days has
brought them right back in the wheelhouse.
·Brown Ranch Pinot was harvested in early
September, with tight and uniform clusters. The vineyard managers were thrilled
about how little they had to do in terms of dropping fruit or having clusters
rejected at the sorting table.
Hudson Vineyard in Carneros
·The first pick of Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay
went smoothly (two different blocks). The second pick was carried out the
weekend of September 26th under ideal conditions.
·We picked most of the To-Kalon Cabernet on
Monday Sept. 21st. Here, we had to do very little crop
thinning during the season. Flavors and sugars look awesome. The berries
are tiny, with a high skin to juice ratio, so we should be looking at some
·Dr. Crane Cabernet Franc, our secret weapon in
the cellar, was picked September 24th. It looks beautiful. Crane Cabernet
Sauvignon was picked on Monday the 28th in gorgeous conditions.
·Spring Mountain “Terra Buena” was picked on the
23rd, so there‘s not the typical variation between mountain fruit
and valley floor. Everything is pretty much ripening at the same time.
Terra Buena Vineyard overlooking St. Helena, Spring Mountain
All in all, it’s been a pretty easy harvest so far. There
might have been some raisining or sugar imbalances if the heat kept up for a
few more days, but the heat thankfully moderated recently. Unless people are
going for crazy ripeness, 90%+ of Napa fruit will be picked by the first weeks of Fall, if not before. Yields are probably 20%-25% down from “normal” based on the initial
fruit set, but things look phenomenal. In short, anyone who screws this harvest
up needs to consider a new line of work outside of the fermentation sciences!