2020 Eisele Vineyard "Altagracia" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California

Very fragrant and expressive, the 2020 Altagracia unveils a floral nose with dried rose petals intertwined with wild strawberries, red currant, cranberry, and a hint of pink pepper and santal. The mouthfeel is round and silky with subtle flavors of black tea, cinnamon, orange peel and cocoa.


There are 3 units left in stock.


The 2020 growing season was challenging from the very beginning, with a combination of warm temperatures and low winter rainfall that prevented an early bud break. The continuing trend in the Spring led to the highest water deficit recorded during canopy expansion and consecutively an early onset of stress. The vines adapted quickly to these exceptional conditions, setting the stage for naturally low yields. Growth was harmonious and the balance between the size of the canopy and the quantity of fruit was perfect. Veraison progressed smoothly as the summer followed a normal pattern of cool nights and warmer days, but heat spikes intensified in September. The dry-farmed Cabernets were picked on September 10th, followed by the young vines. September 15th marked the beginning of harvest for the parcels bordering Simmons Creek and concluded on September 24th, just three days before the start of the Glass Fire.

Meticulous sorting was implemented at the cluster table by our crew before the berries made their way to the fermentation vessels. The excellent ripeness level of the skins and seeds allowed a smooth and balanced extraction. This 2020 vintage was aged for 18 months in a combination of French oak barrels (90%) and Austrian oak foudres (10%), for a savory combination of ripe fruit and spicy notes. As a result of carefully managed yields and uncompromising selection, 2020 is the smallest vintage at Eisele Vineyard since the 1991-1993 period, during which the estate was being completely replanted.


Raised in France’s famed Loire Valley, Hélène Mingot has been steeped from an early age in viticulture, oenology, and the wider agro-industrial processes. She earned a Master of Science degree at the School of Agriculture in Angers in 2001, with a Vine and Wine major. Following these studies, Hélène spent a year in Bordeaux working in a lab, testing new strains of yeast for wines, and conducting research focused on aromatic precursors in Sauvignon Blanc. Although she found the scientific aspect "educational," she realized she preferred the actual winemaking to research.

She set her sights on winemaking and became one of only two people selected from the science arena to attend the Agronomy National School of Toulouse, where she received the French National Diploma of Oenology. She then became a cellar master in Bordeaux at Denis Dubourdieu’s estates in the Graves and the Sauternes, making wines such as Sauternes, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet blends.

This experience prepared her for the next five years spent in Italy. There, Hélène worked as a junior winegrowing consultant and as an "Assagiatore di Olio" (olive oil taster) in Tuscany. She then expanded her knowledge while employed as a winemaker at a Chianti Classico estate. Her husband, David, a winemaker from Italy, exposed Hélène to the rich Italian winemaking tradition and Italy's diverse wine regions. It was while in Italy that Hélène was introduced to Stéphane Derenoncourt, whose commitment to terroir expression and sensitive handling of vines and grapes has deeply influenced her own approach to vineyard-tending and winemaking. He chose her to be the winemaker for his Napa project, Derenoncourt California, in 2006.

Hélène now lives and works in Napa Valley, having joined Eisele Vineyard in 2013 as its head winemaker and vineyard manager. She oversees every detail in the vineyards and in the cellar with an unbending commitment to making wines of great purity and complexity and promoting biodynamic farming. Her ability to speak Italian, Spanish, French, and English helps her to manage the winery’s numerous relationships with growers and producers both at home and abroad.


Grape(s) Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot
Farming Practicing Biodynamic & Organic