- Producer: Dana Estates - read about the Estate
- Winemakers: Philippe Melka & Chris Cooney
- Region (AVA): Napa (Rutherford)
- Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
- Vintage production: 1,278 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Hi Sang Lee
- First vintage: 2010
- Drinking window: 2018-2035
About The Wine:
Onda is a wine made in the Bordeaux tradition, blending both varietals and vineyards together to create a synergy from our estate sites. Philippe has been making this wine since 2005, experimenting by blending fruit from Helms, Hershey, Lotus and the fourth estate vineyard, Crystal Springs. A bit softer than the single vineyard wines, Onda is characterized by wonderful fruit purity, elegance and precision. It drinks beautifully upon release but will age gracefully for 10-15 years with appropriate storage.
The 2015 Onda Cabernet Sauvignon is comprised of the Crystal Springs vineyard which is the backbone of this blend, as well as the three single vineyards. The early start to the season also made for Dana's earliest start to harvest. Starting on September 8th they harvested Crystal Springs over 3 days. Lotus was picked next on September 12th followed a week later by their earliest block at Hershey. Smaller vines and Dana's commitment to minimal irrigation over the past decade produced intensely flavored fruit with minimal dehydration. The majority of the blend was fermented in concrete tanks. The remaining portion was fermented in approximately equal parts oak upright tanks, stainless steel tanks and 225L French oak barrels. The wines were pressed directly to barrels, and malolactic was native.
While not generous in quantity, the vineyards yielded limited lots of excellent fruit quality. Dana's vineyards received slightly less than average rainfall but compared to the previous years of drought conditions, the vines started the growing season with ample water in the soil. The winter and spring were among the warmest on record and pushed bud-break 2-3 weeks ahead of 2013 and 2014 setting up for an early harvest. The warm dry spring led to less vine growth with shorter than average shoots.
However, the much smaller than average crop with small berries and loose clusters created balanced vines. The warm spring gave way to a summer that was hot and dry, causing some challenges with numerous heat spells that lasted multiple days. The small vine canopies and Dana's dedication to minimal irrigation over the last decade paid dividends in 2015 with exceptional fruit integrity even after prolonged 100F+ days with extremely low humidity. This gave them the flexibility to harvest based on flavour, not desiccation level. The vintage will be remembered as an early, low yielding, hot vintage, with focused intense wines of defining quality.
The fruit was sourced from 76% Crystal Springs vineyards, 16% Hershey vineyard and 8% otus vineyard. The wine was aged for 19 months in 74% new French oak (Taransaud, Demptos, Ermitage, Baron, Darnajou and Artisan), and bottles on May 23rd, 2017.
Dana Estates ONDA Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
"This is a beautiful Onda with a blackberry and hazelnut character with some mushroom and floral undertones. Even some minerality and hot stones. Wet cement, too. A gorgeous wine. One of the best Onda. Drink or hold."
96 points, James Suckling (May 2018)
"The 2015 Onda is gorgeous. More than anything, the Onda will give readers a very good idea of what the vintage holds at Dana Estates. Ripe, sumptuous and silky on the palate, with terrific freshness and no excess weight, the Onda is absolutely beautiful in 2015. Sweet red and purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal and mint all give the wine freshness. This is a gorgeous, utterly irresistible wine from Dana Estates. Dollops of Merlot and Petit Verdot round out the blend."
93 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous, Mar. 2018)