2017 Impetuous is spirited and spunky – it’s a delicious blend of candied cherries, black currants, caramel, vanilla, spicy red & black pepper, and fresh savory herbs. For the somms among us, the texture is silky and sublime with a full mid-palate and lengthy finish – all hallmarks of a classic Checkerboard Vineyards wine. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc & 5% Petit Verdot. 350 cs produced. Winemaker is Martha McClellan
Impetuous is handcrafted at Checkerboard Vineyards, a 300-acre wine estate in Napa Valley that spans one entire, undivided mountainside. The estate and its four small vineyards, planted among the woods and at varying elevations, are the inspiration for this singular wine representing our mountain and its soils.
Very tight nose initially. After one hour in the glass this is a very different and expressive wine: Dark and even brooding brambly fruit on the nose. Plum, cherry-liqueur, dark chocolate on the palate. Some tobacco leaf notes as well. Very smooth, dense – without the complexity of a Checkerboard single vineyard but with all the power and the balanced/integrated tannins. Fine oak presence on the finish. (WSI94)
Checkerboard Vineyards includes four vineyards at varying elevation and of different exposure and soil composition that are sustainably farmed to nourish soils, maintain water purity, and prevent soil erosion. Spring Meadows Vineyard is situated at 600 feet in elevation on a meadow with soils enriched by the surrounding forest. Coyote Ridge Vineyard is planted on a long ridgeline at 900 feet in elevation on red iron oxide clay, resulting in wines with beautiful aromatics and soft, rounded textures. Aurora Vineyard projects dramatically off the mountainside at 1,200 feet in elevation and is riddled with basalt cobble, creating wines of power and intensity. Nash Creek Vineyard is at the top of the estate at 2,000 feet in elevation where volcanic rock imparts a minerality that lifts its highly structured and vibrant wines. These distinct, yet kindred sites come together to form the unique character of Impetuous.
Impetuous is handmade at Checkerboard Vineyards from the same wine lots produced for our acclaimed portfolio. On harvest morning, vines are flagged for hand-harvesting and grapes are delivered just steps away to the crush pad. Clusters are sorted, discarding any imperfect ones and the remainder are gently de-stemmed. Individual berries are then selected for fermentation by a 10-person team and transferred to tank or barrel using a small pitcher. This labor-intensive winemaking method is intentionally low-tech and an essential part of producing our delicious, juicy Impetuous wine.