The Mascot Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 2018
Following a vintage full of changing conditions and demanding decision points, the steady and pleasant progress of the 2018 vintage left our team, at times, in limbo. Contradictory as it may seem, the dramas that sometimes punctuate the definitive months for the growing season help to frame the winegrowing team’s course of action; yet the tranquil succession of weeks that emerged between spring and fall in 2018 left almost entirely open the question of when to harvest. Healthy rainfall in March and April preceded a benevolent summer, whose mildness was interrupted only briefly by a few warming periods. The fruit of the young vines maintained a measured balance that gave the team little indication that harvest was imminent. Fog and temperate days followed in September, when—relying more on instinct than empirical cues—we began to pick. This judgment—as well as the gentle nature of the season—is confirmed in the subtle, ethereal power of the vintage, which reveals itself first in the deep, brooding aromas of dark fruit, black tea, and herbal notes. The texture expands around a lifted structure, as powdery tannins gently resolve. This diffused, enigmatic softness is anchored on the mid-palate by a gratifying density, which prepares the senses for a flourish of hidden energy and vivid detail that illuminates the finish.