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Napa Valley 2006
The 2006 vintage was not the easiest for Napa growers, as a wide range of issues demanded careful management of the vineyards. It started as winter flooding, and wet weather pushed back bud break — spring botrytis was a problem. Things heated up in June and July, and shatter was a problem, but the pace of ripening also caught up somewhat in the warm conditions. August cooled off a bit, allowing the pace of ripening to continue at a good clip, and conditions remained sound through the harvest. Cool temperatures arrived in October, with a little rain in the first week, and mold was a concerns. Late-ripening Cabernet struggled somewhat to achieve perfect physiological ripeness, and while the vintage has produced some very good to excellent wines, it is a bit more variable than the stellar years that surround it.
Founded in 1995, this 40 acre estate at the south end of the Silverado Trail is more reminiscent of Tuscany than of its Napa neighbors. Planted to Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, and Friulano along with some traditional California varieties, Luna Vineyards bucks the trend when it comes to the mediocre Italian varietal wines produced these days. Winemaker Tom Peterson makes an idiosyncratic, singular Pinot Grigio marked by unusually rich texture, hints of tropical and dried fruits, and leesy complexity -- hardly your typical New World example of this variety. Look too for his exotic barrel-fermented blend of Tocai Friulano, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc called 'Freakout', not to mention the creamy-sweet yet vibrant Sangiovese, consistently one of the most satisfying examples of this variety made outside Tuscany.