The 1998 Vintage
After a wet winter the growing season began about a month late with heavy rain lasting into mid-June. Intermittent rain in the middle of bloom caused shatter in many blocks resulting in low yields. After a cool, wet June the weather warmed up in July. Despite this warm weather the grapes remained unusually late in developing and ripening, 30 to 40 days later than the previous year. Uneven ripening meant that blocks had to be picked several times to selectively pick the ripe fruit. Fortunately, the cool autumn weather of September and October allowed the remaining grapes to ripen fully and produce spectacular wine. Harvest ended the second week of November, over six weeks later than in 1997. The 1998 vintage, in general, has been panned by some critics. They have not tasted our wine. This is a similar situation to 1975 and 1979, two vintages which were also cool, late, and difficult, particularly for valley floor vineyards in heavy soils. While many wines were truly inferior in those vintages, grapes growing on the best vineyards were spectacular. The wine collector who thoughtfully and selectively purchased in those years is enjoying wonderful wine today. This may be true for our 1998.
About Spring Mountain Vineyard
Spring Mountain Vineyard is an 845-acre estate on the eastern slopes of Spring Mountain in Napa Valley
where austere soils produce extremely low yields of intensely flavored, long-lived wines. Only 225 acres
are planted to vine, representing 135 discrete vineyard blocks with multiple soil types, exposures and
microclimates. The privately owned estate is comprised of four historic vineyards first planted to vine in
the late 1800s. Only estate bottled wines are produced.