The Lion has been the emblem of the Hess Family in every generation. It has come to symbolize the bold and persevering nature of founder Donald Hess and our winery home on Mount Veeder. “Live Each Day with the Heart and Courage of The Lion” is the Hess Family credo. As the next generation takes the helm, The Lioness pays homage to the women of the Hess Family who now lead the pride. This Chardonnay blends the abundance and power of Napa Valley with an agile touch of winemaking to showcase the estate fruit. The 2015 vintage was the inaugural release for this wine.
At a Glance
2016 Taste + Style
“With this wine, we aim to craft a big, beautiful Napa Valley Chardonnay that showcases what our Estate vineyard is capable of producing. I am striving for texture and full flavors when I make the barrel selection, and am attracted to clones that produce fruit of low yields but tremendous quality. The Lioness is dynamic and beautifully balanced with a lush texture that is complemented by a core of acidity running throughout. Layered flavors of tropical fruit and a hint of smoke integrate with notes of nutmeg and almond. These delicious elements of toasty oak persist throughout a long satisfying finish.”
– Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking
2016 Vineyard + Production
Vintage 2016 had near perfect weather and continues the streak of great California vintages. Winter gave us our average amount of rainfall followed by a warm spring that allowed most varieties to set a nice crop. August cooled things off and allowed some increase in hang time and we didn’t see any major heat spikes during September and October. Yields were above average for most. Overall, the harvest was another welcomed season, and we find the wines of the vintage to be of excellent quality.