Few know the story behind the Aloft label. First designed in 2011 by Alycia Mondavi, the label includes hidden elements inspired by years of family farming. At first glance, the label depicts the rolling hills of Cold Springs Vineyard, found on the family’s Howell Mountain property. However, looking closely, one will find the head of a mountain lion and the outline of a snake imbedded within the vineyard scene.
Cold Springs is tucked away in a forest of tall pines and manzanita trees, the perfect sanctuary for a mother mountain lion and her two cubs. Living within close proximity to a neighborhood and after many family discussions, these wild and majestic cougars had to be safely relocated to a new home due to their territorial behavior, but still hold a special place in the Aloft story. In addition to the forested property, the rocky soil commonly found throughout Howell Mountain provides ideal drainage and desired homes for gopher snakes. These harmless snakes play a unique role in the family’s pledge to farm sustainably. Natural predators such as owls, bats, and snakes are welcomed to assist in pest and insect control. Farming practices also include cover cropping to supplement soil nutrients and manage erosion control as well as a sophisticated water conservation regime.
The 2013 Aloft is a superior example of the family’s continued commitment to protecting and preserving the land. Arguably the best vintage Napa Valley has seen in decades, the 2013 Aloft holds true to vintage expectations. The aromatics and palate parallel each other with an intensity of ripe blueberry, blackberry, black currant and black cherry. The wine shows further complexity with diverse flavors of dark chocolate, clove, black pepper, leather, tobacco and cigar. Although youthful, the 2013 portrays a tasteful balance between ripe fruit, bright acidity, and tannins. Cellar this wine for a few years and the lush tannins will continue to soften adding an additional dimension to this mountain Cabernet.