Toquade continues to be made from the same organic, dry-farmed vineyard in Yountville. The 9th vintage of Toquade was marked by the Napa earthquake, making this the most challenging vintage to date. Vintage 2014 was another dry year for the vineyard; most of the precipitation occurred just before bud break. The spring rain was a welcome sight as it allowed for normal vine canopy growth. The rest of the growing season consisted of cool mornings and warm days. Much like the previous vintage, this growing period began earlier than anticipated and I started harvesting on August 23rd.
I had selected August 25th to pick the Toquade fruit but a 6.1 earthquake struck Napa on August 24th at 3:30 am. This definitely changed my harvest plan. The winery I utilize in the making of Toquade was damaged; eight hundred barrels from previous vintages had fallen to the cellar floor. This made it impossible to harvest Toquade on the date I'd selected.
I was able to hand harvest Toquade early in the morning on August 28th. The wine-making community of Napa assisted me finding a winery to host Toquade for crush and fermentation. The fruit was fermented in stainless steel barrels and the fermentation barrels were moved back to their original site. The wine was aged on lees with weekly batonnage for seven months and bottling began in May of 2015.
The wine has a nose of lychee and guava. There is a crisp mouth feel at first, a round mid-palate and a long finish of tropical fruit. Toquade is delicious by itself but can be also paired with a variety of foods: everything from seafood, sushi or bruschetta to cheese plates or South East Asian dishes such as curries.