Blending starts with having the best raw materials—a broad spectrum of flavors, textures, and aromas to work with. It’s like having a palate of many different colors as you paint a landscape. We chose four varietals that we truly love: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Syrah. Cabernet Sauvignon is truly the king of grape varieties and California, and many years the power and depth of the wine is driven by this noble variety. Cabernet Franc is admittedly our favorite variety grown in California. While it can provide a similar heft and depth as Cabernet Sauvignon, in may vintages Cabernet Franc can add a solidity, an aromatic mystery, and a savory length to the blend. Merlot is the juice, it rounds out the wine and adds a plump, mouthwatering character, and in many years a smoky, black fruit note. Syrah can be a trump card, adding a serious, brooding, dark element to the blend. Some years, more than a little can overwhelm a wine, but in other vintages the Syrah can bring all of the other varieties together, while adding an entirely new dimension. No matter the final percentages, we always find that the final blend is much richer, more complex, and enjoyable than the separate parts.
Vineyards are at the core of what we do with Leviathan. After nearly twenty years in Napa Valley, we have developed strong relationships with growers, and the ability to produce distinctive, concentrated wines with a high level of finesse and complexity. In addition, we are always on the hunt, both within Napa and across California’s diverse terroirs, for unique growing sites for our chosen varietals. Whether it is Cabernet Sauvignon from the red, rocky soils of Oakville Ranch, Obsidian Ridge, or various vineyards planted on volcanic tuff in Coombsville, or Merlot from the clay loam soils Hudson Vineyards, or Syrah from the mineral-rich gold country of Amador (and a touch also from Hudson), or Cabernet Franc from a variety of locales, we look to maximize the expression of the individual sites, which in turn makes our blend more compelling.