- Producer: Dana Estates - read about the Estate
- Winemakers: Philippe Melka & Chris Cooney
- Region (AVA): Napa (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot
- Vintage production: 338 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Hi Sang Lee
- First vintage: 2006
- Drinking window: 2025-2055
About The Wine:
Located at 1,200 feet (365 metres) above sea level in the Vaca Mountains on the east side of the valley, Lotus is the warmest of Dana's three vineyards. With rocky soils and low yielding vines facing west that embrace the afternoon sun, Lotus produces a wine of power and concentration. Packed with layers of black fruit, with notes of mocha, anise and graphite, Lotus tends to be the most full bodied of the three wines Dana produces.
Dana's philosophy of minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery has resulted in a slow progression to dry farming. This forces the vines to look deeper for water, but also for nutrients and minerals. The results are balanced vines that produce small intensely flavored berries with thick darkly colored skins.
The 2018/19 winter and early spring brought ample rainfall to the Napa Valley. A dry April was followed by one of the wettest May’s on record, providing much needed hydration. The moist soils meant the vines had access to nutrients, especially potassium, resulting in full canopies and softer acidity in the wine. The cooler weather through mid-summer slowed shoot growth and delayed verasion by a few weeks.
In mid-August the season heated up with 90+F temperatures through the end of September. This allowed the vines to catch up with sugar and colour accumulation after the cool wet start to the season. Ideal weather conditions in October allowed the fruit to ripen to optimal maturity without the threat of rain or heat spikes. The 2019 wines reflect the vintage with opulent fruit, silky tannins, and savoury structured finish.
Harvest began on October 7th with the Petit Verdot. The Cabernet pick began the following day with clone 4 Cabernet which is located in the heart of the vineyard. The team finished picking the vineyard a week later harvesting clones 15 and 337 on the same day. The wines were fermented with native yeast and macerated on skins for 19-29 days.
The grapes held onto their tannin and color more tightly in 2019 requiring more aggressive extraction maceration; therefore, they had to work harder with extra pump-overs and punch-downs later into the fermentation to realize the full potential of the vintage. The wine was then taken off the skins and put directly into barrels, then the wines were blended in the spring after harvest, left to age without racking until bottling.
Dana Estates Lotus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
"Lotus vineyard is just below Howell Mountain, not high enough to make that AVA. A very steep vineyard, 100% hand farmed, Lotus is by far the warmest site for this estate. The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Lotus Vineyard is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot, due to be aged for 25 months in French oak barrels, 100% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes galloping out of the glass with powerful scents of blackcurrant cordial, chocolate-covered cherries and boysenberries with hints of licorice, black truffles, red roses and fallen leaves. Medium to full-bodied, taut, firm and and vibrant in the mouth, it has profound earth and savory layers with a long, long mineral layered finish."
97-100 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (The Wine Advocate, Mar. 2021)