1995 Napa Valley — A Prolonged Growing Season Yields a Superb Crop
The 1995 vintage was one of wild weather events that included winter storms and flooding. The Napa River set a new peak record and the Russian River was near its record crest. Fortunately, the vines were dormant and damage was minimal. Spring rains and a June hailstorm did have some impact though, and the growing cycle got underway with a late start. The summer was moderate to warm and made up for some of the delay, but overall, the harvest remained stubbornly late. There was practically no rainfall until long after the harvest, but the wet winter and spring had assured there that there were plenty of water reserves for the vines to thrive.
The arrival of fine Indian summer weather provided the much-needed hang-time the slowly maturing grapes required to reach full physiological ripeness, and the vintage ended up producing wines with a great combination of rich fruit, bright acidity, and freshness, and a finely tuned focus and structure. Perhaps more elegant, tightly wound, and fresh when compared to the powerful opulence of the 1994s, it is a superb year in its own right, and the best wines are still in deliciously fine form.