Teachworth Napa Valley 2002:
The story of 2002: very good wine; just not much of it. Only three varietals were made. One each of Rattlesnake Ridge Vineyard, Mahzanita Hill Vineyard and the Estate Blend. The good news is the 2002 is even better than the 2000 and 2001 (Barrel samples confirm that our wine is getting better with each succeeding vintage).
Hail and rain at flowering resulted in shatter and a 50% crop loss. The remaining fruit was tightly concentrated and syrupy sweet, which translates into big tanins and high sugars. Our winemaker, Phil Steinschreiber, handled these conditions brilliantly to produce an excellent, full-bodied cab.
Hang-time lasted from early May to late September, with hot sun during the last three weeks. Harvest was done in the early dawn under a cool fog. For the first time we got to use our new stainless steel tanks. The star of crush, however, was the French-made stainless steel de-stemmer, a Delta E-1. It goes slow so the sorters have more time to hard pick the very best grapes for our wine. The first barrel samples confirmed what the grapes had told us: this was going to be a very good vintage.