48% Cabernet Sauvignon (Block 8)
13% Petit Verdot (Block 15)
13% Cabernet Franc (Block 26)
13% Malbec (Block 14)
13% Merlot (Block 13)
The Hendry Vineyard is located on benchlands west of the town of Napa. The vines grow on thin, stony and clay soils, between 200 and 300 feet above sea level. Morning fog and strong afternoon breezes from San Pablo Bay moderate our climate. Our vineyard is the sole source for grapes for all of our wines. It has been home to the Hendry family since 1939.
Each year, we pick each of our small blocks of Bordeaux varieties, ferment them individually and then barrel age them for approximately one year. After the first year of barrel aging, George Hendry creates the final blend. His aim is to make a wine with a concentration, complexity and potential for aging, but with more subtle tannic structure than a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine.
In 2018, budbreak in these blocks was March 31st-April 6th. Bloom was between May 25th and the 31st. Veraison occurred August 3rd through August 15th, and harvest was September 10-27th for the early varieties (Merlot and Malbec) and October 1st-15th for the later types (Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon). Average bloom-to-harvest was 128 days, ranging from 108 days for Block 14 Malbec to 139 days for the Cabernet Sauvignon in Block 16A. Yield was an average of 2.1 tons per acre in the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, and 3.63 tons per acre in the Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet blocks.
These wines were aged for a total of 18 months in French oak barrels, approximately 70-75% of which were new. In a reversal of his typical strategy, George relied on Cabernet for the base of this blend, at 48%, with the remaining varieties in equal percentages at 13% each. Opaque purple-ruby. Cabernet is prominent in the pleasant aromatics, as expected, leaning toward dark fruit, with the spice, smoke and cedar of the oak underpinnings just detectable behind round, dried-blueberry-like purple fruit. On the palate, tannins are soft at first, gradually building.
Pair with cheeses and meats, moderately rich braised dishes, such as (George’s favorite) pot roast, braised short-ribs or a hearty beef and mushroom stew. Retains its flavor and structure with rich, meaty foods, and shows its softer, fruitier side with full-flavored cheeses. It will pair with almost anything you like with red wine. A strong candidate for the cellar, the structure of this wine should allow it to age with grace and become even more lovely and nuanced over time.