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 is the inaugural release for this wine.
At a Glance
2015 Taste + Style
“We felt as though the time had arrived to make a big, beautiful Napa Valley Chardonnay that showcased what our Estate vineyard is capable of producing. I am striving for texture and full flavors when I make the barrel selection. I am attracted to the Clone 4 and Clone 96 Chardonnay in the vineyard that produces fruit of low yields but tremendous quality. This first vintage is unctuous but has a gorgeous thread of acidity running through the middle to balance the wine. In the mouth, crème brûlée and tropical notes are layered with well-integrated toasty oak and hints of vanilla that persist throughout a long satisfying finish.”
– Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking
2015 Vineyard + Production
The real story behind the 2015 growing season was that it was one of the earliest harvests on record, featuring variability in crop size, with some grapes affected more than others. As the drought continued, an early bud-break in spring led to a protracted bloom and fruit set, followed by cool weather that extended deep into May. Heat was minimal through the summer, but fruit marched quickly to ripening, even as an early September sprinkle slowed the pace for just a moment. In the end, we saw a slightly less abundant harvest than the immediately previous years.