In their little corner of Napa Valley, Altamura has been quietly growing and producing some of California’s finest wines. The small winery’s hillside and valley floor estate vineyards in Wooden Valley are perched 250 to 300 metres above sea level. The soil types found on the ranch, which are similar to the Rutherford Bench and the mountainous regions of Howell Mountain, Pritchard Hill, and Mount Veeder, called for several different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon on a number of different rootstocks. Planted in 1986, the vertically-trellised vines are dry-farmed. This is a winery with exacting, no-compromise vineyard practices – real practitioners of the philosophy that wine is made in the vineyard.
This wine fermented in both open and closed-top fermenters. Some lots were allowed to macerate on their skins for up to three weeks following fermentation, a technique that encourages nuanced fruit flavours and gentle, nicely-integrated tannins. The wine was racked into French oak barrels (70% new), where it aged for nearly three years prior to release.
“Steeped Black Mission fig, plum and blackberry flavours are melded to warm fruitcake, dark licorice and Turkish coffee notes. Despite the profile, this is defined, with a subtle sanguine hint adding detail on the seductive finish. Drink now through 2030.”
94 points, Wine Spectator, Sept 2020