Region: Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, CA
- Color: medium ruby red
- Aromas: plum, blueberry pie with graham cracker crust, date stuffed with macadamia nuts, eucalyptus, worn leather, cinnamon
- Palate: black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, nougat, structured, balanced acidity, long finish
RegionSpring Mountain District, Napa Valley, CA
Winemaker Sam Baxter, has always had a keen focus on the grapes in the vineyard to achieve ideal ripeness and flavor development, leading to a winemaking style marked by minimal intervention. The yield of this approach is evident in our Terra Valentine wines that reflect a sense of place while showing the intensity of mountain grown fruit and balanced elegance.
Sam Baxter stands tall among an esteemed few, of the next generation of Napa Valley winemakers. Baxter literally grew up in the grapevines, trailing father Phil, whose winemaking made a legendary mark in the late '60s when the Napa Valley first experienced international notoriety as a respected winegrowing region.
After graduating from University of California, Davis with a degree in fermentation science in 1998, Sam extended his experience with a pivotal internship position at Sterling Vineyards and stints abroad in Australia. His first encounters with Terra Valentine were cultivated during the early years at the winery, dubbed the "cowboy" era (1999-2001) due to the rough-and-tumble condition of the winery and its vineyard land, which allowed for barely enough energy to run the lights, but no hot water. Working under these off-the-grid conditions went a long way in building Baxter's strong winemaking foundation.
Hand-harvested, pickedat night
Wholecluster pressed while still cold from the field
Barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts
Spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrel
Aged 12 months in French oak barrels; 50% new, 4 months in stainless steel
Aged sur lies with biweekly bâtonnage
The 2015 growing season in Napa Valley started out with unseasonably warm temperatures in the late winter and early spring. This resulted in an early bud break and bloom. Colder temperatures in May (during the peak of bloom) caused uneven fruit set which ultimately resulted in much smaller crop in 2015, compared to both average yields and also the three abundant years that preceded it. As a result, winemakers worked hand-in-hand with vineyard crews and also employed new technologies, like optical sorting, to ensure they picked and crushed only the best quality grapes. The harvest was one of the earliest on record in Napa Valley, beginning on July 22 with the picking of grapes for sparkling wine, and concluding for most all vintners and growers in the valley by mid-October. While ongoing drought was of great concern to farmers around California, Napa Valley received 75% of normal rainfall for the water year, bringing far fewer water concerns for Napa Valley's vintners. Perhaps the most notable natural occurrence of the year was the devastating Valley Fire that broke out in Lake County to the north in mid-September. Although the fire was tragic for the Lake County residents who lost their lives and their homes, prevailing winds blew the fire's smoke away from Napa Valley. At the time of harvest, there were no reports of smoke taint affecting Napa Valley wines.