The nose opens with exotic aromas of honeydew melon, guava, pineapple and jasmine, followed by herbal notes of angelica, fig leaf and chamomile with a strong vein of minerality that conjures up ocean air. Lanolin and toasted pine nuts round out the aromas. On the palate, flavors of ruby red grapefruit and salty ocean air blend with wet stone minerality. The mouthfeel of this wine is dynamic, moving from generous fruit through to a lacey, delicate and persistent mineral finish.
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Bart and Daphne have always said their best wine has yet to be made.
This was their philosophy as the proprietors of Araujo Estate and stewards of the historic Eisele Vineyard, and it is their guiding principle today with Accendo Cellars, the Napa Valley winegrowing venture founded in 2013. Inspired by the revolutionary Napa Valley wines of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, Accendo pays homage to an earlier era and marks a beginning of a promising new paradigm: to source grapes from some of the finest vineyard sites and terroir in Napa Valley; to make a wine of balance and restraint in the style of Napa Valley’s past wines; and to produce this wine with the commitment, energy and meticulous attention to detail that have characterized their past efforts.
They are grateful to be joined by their daughter, Jaime Araujo Bézian, and son, Greg Araujo, as well as a small team of professionals they have worked with for many years, people who share their passion and, most importantly, their values. Applying what they know collectively about grape growing and winemaking, Bart and Daphne's aim is to create a world-class wine that expresses ecological diversity and focused stewardship.
For years Napa Valley has nurtured and humbled them in ways they could never have imagined. It is the hope that Accendo will shine a new light on this magical place they call home.
One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.
The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. White wines from Napa Valley are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific wine characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth red wines with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Napa Valley wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.