Region: Fountain Grove District, Sonoma, CA
- Color: pale straw
- Aromas: complex, spicy pear, meyer lemon, manuka honey, wet stone, grass, jasmine
- Palate: starfruit, madagascar vanilla, nutmeg, medium body, medium/high acidity, lingering finish
RegionFountain Grove District, Sonoma County
AgeabilityReady to enjoy now!
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.
February saw abundant rains, followed by lots of filtered light in spring and early summer. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set. Summer brought generous sun during the day and cooler marine influences, virtually uninterrupted by major heat spikes. The relatively mild summer followed by extended fall sunshine and moderate heat created near-ideal conditions for winemakers to allow their fruit to accumulate flavor complexity with gradual increases in sugar levels. Volume was up 20-30% over average crop quantity.
Hand-harvested, picked at night
Whole-cluster pressed while still cold from the field
Musque clone fermented in stainless at 55° to retain delicate esters and 317 clone barrel fermented in French Oak
Aged sur lees for 8 months in French oak with 15% new
Coopers: Nadalie Perle Blanche French oak
Un-fined and sterile filtered