2021 Winemaker Perspective & What’s happening in the cellar

What’s Happening in the Wine Cellar

“Currently, our wines have all fully completed fermentation and malolactic fermentation. The wines have been racked and sulfited as well. The finished wines will then be clear, clean and ready to properly assess in a technical tasting.

The 2021 vintage was relatively early, quite condensed and had no particularly extreme heat events or any rain to mention. The result has been wines with moderate sugar levels, reasonable acidities, excellent color, manageable tannins and good concentration. 

I expect the resulting wines to reflect that in the glass; harmonious, balanced and pure expressions of the vineyards from which they came. In short, things are progressing nicely and it looks like a banner year for Napa Cabernet.” – Martin Mackenzie

Jeff Keene, Associate Winemaker & Martin Mackenzie, Winemaker during crush 2021.

“2021 brought back the excitement of harvest once again with the promise of some exceptional wines on the way from Neal Family Vineyards.

Smooth, gradual, timely are the words I would use to describe the 2021 harvest. We enjoyed the steady pace where we could let the grapes hang for as long as we wanted to achieve our desired optimal ripeness.

Already in our cellar we are enjoying the exceptional aromas and flavors of the low yields and intensely flavored grapes that were harvested this year.

From the vibrantly aromatic Sauvignon Blanc and Vermentino to our Cabernet Sauvignon where you can really taste the unique distinctions from around the valley; the lush, fruity, lifted characters from Rutherford to the intense color, powerfully elegant tannins and deep concentration from our Howell Mountain Estate.

We couldn’t be happier and are extremely excited by the promise and expectation of a stellar vintage on its way” – Jeff Keene

Jeff “topping” the barrels. Wine evaporates through the wood over time and creates a head space called “ullage”. Winemakers continue to keep the barrels full to avoid too much oxygen contact as the wines age.

The team recently came together to taste through all the 2021 wines together. These tastings are very technical and exciting! We are all really happy with our Vermentino, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon’s.

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