Follow The Prince
twitter icon rss icon

Vineyard: Heron Lake

OwnerDavid Mahaffey
AppellationWild Horse Valley
VarietiesChardonnay, Pinot Noir

Wineries sourcing from this vineyard

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

2010 Olivia Brion Heron Lake Vineyard Wild Horse Valley Chardonnay

14.3% alc., 300 cases, $40. Native yeast ferments. Aged 16 months in Latour and Francois Frères oak barrels. · Light straw color and very slight haze in the glass. Demure aromas of lemon, green apple, petrichor and ocean spray. Delicious core of baked Bosq pear, caramel, honey and very subtle oak. Reserved but seductive with a creamy, spirited finish. A very classy, black tie wine that keeps everything in perspective. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Olivia Brion Heron Lake Vineyard Wild Horse Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 400 cases, $40. Released April, 2012. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark red berries, seasoned oak and floral bouquet. More savory than fruity, with a core of dark red cherries and berries, offering interesting riffs of red bell pepper, herbs and spice. A unique wine that unfolds slowly in the glass, offering well-honed ripe, fine-grain tannins and an uplifting cut of acidity on the finish. This wine will appeal to those who do not relish overtly fruity wines. Very good. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Olivia Brion Heron Lake Vineyard Wild Horse Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 680 cases, $37. John Neumeyer is the proprietor and D. Mahaffey is the winemaker. Wild Horse Valley is located in the mountains east of the town of Napa and is the coolest growing area in the Napa region. The vineyard was planted in 1980 and produced its first wine in 1985. Reserve wines are bottled under the Olivia Brion label beginning in 2003. Olivia Brion was a suffragette and descendent of a great French wine family. Her many paramours included Warren Harding, Paul Gauguin, and Charles Chaplin. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 14 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy initially, but opens with time in the glass. More savory than fruity, with aromas of ripe, darker berry fruit, violets and the slightest hint of mint. An interesting wine driven by exotic spices, dark berry fruit and cola. The wine really shines with time in the glass, bringing together healthy tannins, zingy acidity, uplifting minerality and hearty fruit into a very enjoyable drink. This is one of those little known and little touted labels that surprises with a very unique and lovable Pinot Noir. Reviewed June 8, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Heron Lake Winery Miss Olivia Brion Wild Horse Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 400 cases, $40. David Mahaffey planted Heron Lake Vineyard in 1980 at 1,400 ft. A boutique grower and producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with vineyard manager John Newmeyer, he has made about 600 cases a year since 1985. His current 14-acre vineyard (downsized from the original 24 acres after unsuitable sites were pulled out) is planted to Dijon and Pommard clones. The label says this wine is a homage to Olivia Brion, suffragette and descendent of a great French wine family. In 1905 she won a huge wager by outrunning a locomotive. Later in life she ignited a furor by publishing passionate letters from her many paramours including Warren Harding and Paul Gauguin. · Very attractive violets, strawberries and cherries on the nose. Black raspberry flavors and a woody and rustic bent, leading to a dry finish with lively acidity. Good without being special. Reviewed February 18, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »