Renowned Rutherford wine estate releases its latest vintage: A culmination of a deeper soil insight, innovative winemaking techniques and ideal growing conditions
St. Helena, Calif. September 1, 2021 – After three years of aging, Quintessa is honored to announce its release of the 2018 Quintessa. Inspired by the estate model, Quintessa crafts a single blend wine each year that expresses the estate’s diversity and transforms the soil, vines, climate and energy into something greater than those individual elements. The latest vintage, described by estate director Rodrigo Soto and winemaker Rebekah Wineburg as one of the most impressive to date, Quintessa 2018 (SRP: $210), will be released for retail and online sales today, Sept. 1, 2021.
“After more than three years of dedicated work, from vines to grapes, from grapes to wine and from wine to the bottle, this is the culmination of a complete cycle,” said Rodrigo Soto. “It is a true pleasure to introduce the 2018 Quintessa, a wine that represents a fantastic vintage, the vitality of this unique estate, and the energy and passion of its people.”
When Quintessa founders Agustin and Valeria Huneeus first discovered the property, they understood that the land, spread over five hillsides, with different soil types and exposures, encompassed a tremendous diversity that could lead Quintessa to become a world-class estate. Since the beginning, Quintessa has put the land first — starting with planting small vineyard blocks in sync with the undulating landscape, while preserving the existing natural woodland. The winery was designed to fit into the contours of the hillside, utilizing gravity to gently bring grapes into the fermentation vessels.
To capture the purest expression of place, Quintessa has practiced organic farming techniques since its founding in 1989 and transitioned to biodynamic farming practices in 1996. This philosophy encourages Quintessa to be a true reflection of the vineyard and the immediate environment surrounding it.
“The purest expression to date of the diverse and unique terroir of Quintessa, the 2018 Quintessa is a wine of perfect harmony, says Winemaker Rebekah Wineburg.” “The winery redesign completed in 2018 is based on a deeper understanding of our geology and soils, and allows us to craft a wine of precision and refinement that clearly embodies the character of the Quintessa estate.”
In 2018, Quintessa began a new phase to better understand the property, it’s geology, soils and fertility, utilizing electro-conductivity maps and field observations to better understand the soil beneath each individual block. This new insight and experience helped Quintessa farm with better accuracy, anticipate challenges, and improve quality to enhance its individuality. With this new knowledge, Quintessa embarked on a complete redesign of the fermentation room to match what was intuitive in the past with the science of today.
The 2018 Quintessa is a product of an ideal growing season, one in which moderate climate conditions persisted through harvest, producing clusters of perfect ripeness and acidity. The resulting wine offers intense aromas of cassis, black cherry, and raspberry intermingling with savory notes of sage and thyme. Subtle hints and aromas of dark chocolate, graphite and fresh tobacco fill in behind them.
The precision of the vintage, a result of the cooler weather, long harvest, continued study of the property and a cellar upgrade to bring it all together, is evident in the movement and texture of the wine. Pleasurable to drink now and will continue to age with grace over the next 20 years.