- Producer: Dana Estates - read about the Estate
- Winemakers: Philippe Melka & Chris Cooney
- Region (AVA): Napa (Rutherford)
- Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot
- Vintage production: 1,275 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Hi Sang Lee
- First vintage: 2010
- Drinking window: 2020-2035
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 2016 vintage allowed head winemaker, Chris Cooney to reflect upon crafting the Dana wines and the full tenure of the winery. In their combined efforts, Philippe Melka and Chris further concentrated on vineyard expression and refined farming practices. The anticipation of the vintage allowed for proper planning and execution of an early harvest of phenomenal quality.
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 2016 season started with the soil full of water giving the vines a respite from 3 years of drought. The season started with a warm April and May which promoted rapid shoot growth with no water limitations. This established healthy canopies early in the season. A little extra work was done to keep dappled light in the fruit zone open which is critical for tannin development.
Crystal Springs forms the core of the 2016 Onda blend (68% Crystal Springs Vineyard, 18% Hershey Vineyard, 11% Lotus Vineyard, 3% Helms Vineyard). Harvest at Crystal started on September 15th with the rockier soils on the south side of the vineyard. The team finished with 8 days later with the slightly cooler, heavier soils. About a week later the Merlot at Hershey was ready. A few days after, at the end of September they picked the north corner of Lotus Cabernet Sauvignon and the Petit Verdot. The following day on October 1st we picked a portion of Helms. The last picks of Hershey Cabernet Sauvignon occurred on October 12th. The Cabernet Sauvignon was fermented in equal portions of oak and concrete tanks. The Merlot was fermented in stainless steel and the Petite Verdot in 225L French oak barrels. The wines were pressed directly to barrels, and malolactic was native.
Dana Estates ONDA Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
"This is a very tight Onda, showing beautiful balance and brightness with blackberries and blueberries and chocolate undertones. Full body and rich, polished tannins. Balance and harmony here. Hard not to drink now. "
96 points, James Suckling (Feb. 2019)
"The 2016 Onda is a very serious wine. Dark, mysterious and brooding, the 2016 is an especially dark, potent wine. Black cherry, blueberry jam, crème de cassis, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, menthol and spice start to open up in the glass, but the 2016 remains dense, primary and in need of at least a few years in bottle – maybe more – to be at its best."
93+ points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous, Dec. 2018)