The 2008 vintage was shaped by the La Nina weather pattern. We experienced just 60% of our average rainfall in the Napa Valley, and most of that rain came in the winter time and tapered off in mid March. Because of the dry spring, the dry soils prompted the vines to push their growth earlier than usual. This would set the stage for the remainder of the season. With a dry spring, vines naturally produced less fruit than average during bloom in May. Several heat events in the summer sped up the season but also helped to bring uniformity to the ripeness of the fruit, causing the berries to change color simultaneously. A heat wave at the beginning of September started the harvest off fast and furiously with Merlot and Syrah. Soon the weather cooled off, allowing the cabernet to ripen slowly and be picked at the end of September. Crops were quite tiny, but the results are elegant wines with great structure and concentration.