This summer we had the opportunity to meet with winemaker Dave Galzignato. Our visit took us from Krug’s historical position in the Napa Valley to its modern incarnation, using a new sorting table to isolate the best of the best fruit, from vineyards that the family has seemingly owned forever.
This is the care that we saw at Spottswoode and other wineries at the top of the game, where there is a sincere emphasis on fermenting only the best fruit. It’s a combination of modern equipment and old-fashioned hand-work, patiently paying attention to the fruit that is slowing moving on the conveyor.
Many a winery will tell you that they only select the best fruit. So it can seem another trite rerun of a familiar marketing story when you hear it again. But when you see the equipment yourself and calculate the number of man hours that are dedicated to the sorting process, then you know you’re seeing the real deal.
We jumped ahead to taste some of the wines slated for release later in the year. You’ll find these wines are now available at the winery.
Charles Krug, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc 2008 This Sauvignon is a very pure expression of grapefruit, from the nose onto the palate with a moderate frame of acidity. The grapes are sourced 90% from the Napa Valley and 10% from the Alexander Valley. The bulk of them are picked at 3:00 a.m. (still want to pick grapes for a season?) into half-ton bins with a bit of dry ice before being shrink-wrapped for the ride to the winery.
The wine ferments slowly at 50 degrees for over one month, strictly stainless steel, 13.7% $18 at the winery.
Charles Krug, Napa Valley, Yountville, Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 The fruit is quite expressive in the nose. In the mouth the black fruit is joined by cherries, very ripe tannins and a kiss of oak, an accent of vanilla – a good value, ripe and ready to drink.
Before fermentation, the grapes were cold-soaked for 3 days. The wine spent 18 months aging in oak, 50% French (35% new) and 50% American, 14.5% $27 at the winery.
Charles Krug, Napa Valley, Vintage Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 The oak makes a bigger statement in this wine, with lots of vanilla, yet the overall density of fruit can handle it. Though approachable now, I would give this some rest in the cellar over the next few years.
The grapes are all Cabernet Sauvignon and the oak is all French, where the wine aged for just under 2 years, 14.7% $69 at the winery
The winery is located on the north side of St. Helena. Charles Krug Winery