I am attracted to the mystery and the elusiveness of wine. The most exciting wines I have ever tasted are the ones you can’t quite figure out. They draw you back, again and again, often a little different each time you return. You could say that is my inspiration for our Napa Valley Red Wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Sauvignon is of course the driving force in Napa Valley. But for me, I like to tame it a bit with the addition of elements that make it more intriguing.
One of the regions of Bordeaux that attracts me the most is St. Julien. Wines from the region are typically graceful, elegant, and gentle. And guess what? Although Cabernet Sauvignon typically provides the backbone, a third or more is usually made up of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. No wonder I like our 2012 Napa Red so much!
My sources for Cabernet Sauvignon are superb—two organic vineyards, one on Howell Mountain and the other in St. Helena. I have the good fortune to work with some top notch Merlot and Cabernet Franc, both coming out of Carneros. Each stands well on its own, but when blended together, the resulting wine is elevated to a different level. With more than 30 years of winemaking in Napa Valley, I allow intuition to guide me as I select a handful of barrels—eight to be precise—to compose the final blend.
After three challenging vintages in a row, we were able to relax a little in 2012. Wonderful growing conditions and a rather long ripening period translated into high quality fruit.
As for the wine. Medium ruby in color, the nose offers bright sweet notes of cassis, plum, nutmeg, bay, and lavender. Appropriate levels of acidity, tannin, and oak support a vibrant, palatable, and elegant mouth. Black cherry flavors lead to a seamless and lingering finish. Because of the balance and structure, this wine has many years of life ahead of it.
I keep going back to this wine, again and again. For me, that says it all!