- Producer: Dana Estates - read about the Estate
- Winemakers: Philippe Melka & Chris Cooney
- Region (AVA): Napa (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot
- Vintage production: 870 cases
- Winery location: Rutherford
- Owner: Hi Sang Lee
- First vintage: 2010
- Drinking window: 2020-2029+
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. The team at Dana 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.
A very wet January and February started the season with the soil full of water which allowed the vines access to all the nutrients in the soil. The spring was dry with more moderate temperatures than the last several years leading to a slightly later budbreak at the beginning of April. After budbreak, the weather was dry and warmer than in the previous five seasons. This led to a large healthy canopy due to adequate soil moisture. The large canopy dried down the soil rapidly early in the season setting the vines up to produce smaller, thicker skinned berries. The thick skins and careful water management allowed the fruit to weather the multiple heat spells that characterized the 2017 vintage. The three spells in July before veraison, as well as those in September, slowed sugar accumulation leading to lower brix at harvest. Grapevines behave similar in extreme heat as they do in cool weather, they stop ripening. Thus, the wines from 2017 while having robust tannins from the dry spring, also have a finesse and brightness reminiscent of cooler vintages.
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.
Dana Estates ONDA Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
"Very subtle, fresh aromas of currants, mushrooms and leaves. Medium to full body, very fine tannins and a refined, beautiful finish. Shows finesse and balance. Succulent. Drink or hold."
95 points, James Suckling (Jan. 2020)
"The 2017 Onda is plump, juicy and wonderfully inviting. Readers will have a very hard time keeping their hands off this gorgeous, racy Cabernet. Plush fruit, silky tannins and soft curves give the 2017 a wonderful sense of immediacy that is impossible to miss. Dark red cherry, spice, menthol and licorice infuse the 2017 with striking layers of nuance. In this vintage, most of the fruit is from Crystal Springs; there is less Hershey, as the small amount of fruit that was harvested in that site went into the single-vineyard bottling. This is such a beautiful and delicious wine."
93 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous, Jan. 2020)