Quella

Quella Label

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QUELLA is the name for the wine from a 9-acre site located in the eastern hills overlooking the heart of the Napa Valley.

Quella Label

Making its debut with the 2006 vintage, the name is derived from the German word for a pristine source or an artesian aquifer. This property is steeply sloped facing southwest. The site is an ancient riverbed composed of cobble and rocks interwoven with pockets of tufa (volcanic ash) that were uplifted during the last volcanic activity in the area. Quella displays an almost ethereal quality of blue fruits, graphite, and a vibrant, subtle finish.

SOIL: Ancient uplifted riverbed covered with Tufa (volcanic ash). Southwest Exposure.

ELEVATION: 433-595 feet


Vintage Notes

2017

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The challenges of the 2017 vintage presented new learnings for this site of ancient river cobble and volcanic ash. Although Quella is known for its delicacy and precision, the vines retain a tremendous strength that has allowed them to thrive in a thoroughly Spartan environment. With the help of spring rains before budbreak the season culminated with an early harvest on September 5th and concluded two weeks later.

The nose is classic Quella: fresh blue fruit and a nod towards minerality. This Quella demonstrates a zest for life that never shouts, but stands in perfect posture with a natural, beaming smile. The texture of the wine is effortlesslight on its feet, yet simultaneously deep. The tannins follow an almost choreographed line on the palate. As the finish lingers, it feels remarkably comfortable in its skin for this early stage of its life.

2016

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2016 brought forward the character of this steeply sloped, south-facing vineyard. After bouts of summer heat, a temperate autumn helped bring together the subtle nuance of this site. Harvest began in mid-September and concluded on September 30th.

Quella is defined by an ethereal levity coupled with an agility and poise on the palate. Like a ballerina, the wine exhibits a light grace that belies its underlying energy and strength. The 2016 offers this and more, with supporting facets to the nose that are decidedly earth-driven. On the palate, it strikes a balance between fresh bramble fruits and savory minerality. The finish is intensely layered, revealing more of what lies beneath than typical vintages at this early stage.

2015

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Budbreak was one of the earliest ever, occurring in the first week of March. Yields were low, mostly caused by reduced set during bloom. Harvest began on September 1st and was complete after only four days. The fruit quality was very uniform high, and its character was visceral.

Quella always sets itself apart with an almost bramble-fruit infusion that is both vibrant and lifted. The texture of the wine is like a choreographed dance of a ballerina across the palate. The finish is precise and fine, with fruit and minerality that gently linger before returning, inevitably, to the ethereal.

2014

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The picking was condensed, as the warm summer and early fall weather caused the fruit to mature more quickly than is typical. The fermentations from the first grapes harvested displayed great balance and purity. This caused us to pick the remaining parts of the vineyard in order to capture the freshness and energy that has become ubiquitous of this site.

Aromas of blue fruits and brambles conjure a memory of the water that has filtered through the ancient riverbed soils that make this site. It touches ever so lightly on the palate, broad and airy, pressing firmly for only a few moments. Though there is slightly more power present than normal, the tannins are soft and delicate.

 

2013

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As is typical in most vintages, budbreak began early in the season. The team worked diligently to reduce the demand on the vines due to the drought. Canopies were also kept closed in order to preserve the freshness and ethereal quality that create the purity of this wine. Harvest concluded by the middle of September.

Aromas vacillate between ripe blueberries and fresh blackberries. On the palate, the acidity is extremely juicy. Though this Quella has the typical definition and precision that is emblematic of its light textured soil, there is also an emerging exuberance and structure that is strongly influenced by the vintage. The tannins have laser-focus and an almost airy feel to them.

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