Hello to all those who Imbibe,
Well, the Fair is over, the weather has cooled off, I just got back from 3 days in Napa Valley and would love to share it with you.
Before I delve into the story of our journey, let me start with a vintage report for 2010. The harvest is 3-4 week behind and there is great concern in Napa Valley that the fruit will not ripen before the vines shut down or the rains come in. That being said, the few producers who had access to irrigation and dropped fruit early in the year will have an opportunity to make some outstanding wines. Now many of the producers will tell you they dropped fruit early enough, but I can tell you that not everybody was able. 2010 will be a vintage to try before you buy which will make our tasting wine bar even more advantageous in the years to come.
On to the trip. Our first appointment was with Ancien Vineyards. I have known founder and winemaker, Ken Bernards, for over a dozen years and have always thought of his wines to be some of the most outstanding hand-crafted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in all of America. This is one of those out-of-sight-out-of-mind wineries, but I’m here to tell you, they are back on my radar and definitely worth a try. Look for the Santa Rita Hills Fiddlestix Vineyard, Mink Vineyard and Sonoma Mountain Red Dog Vineyards at Imbibe starting around $40.
Our next stop took us to the vineyards of Revana. Long time friend, Tom Garrett is the General Manager and also assists with the winemaking at Revana. Tom showed us around and let us taste the 2007 Cabernet that just scored 97 points by Wine Spectator. With a wine this amazing and with such small production, it’s no question why we will only be getting a few cases. We also had a chance to taste the 2007 Revana Pinot Noir, a wonderful showing from Willamette Valley in Orgeon at $49.99. During the tour, we learned that Dr. Revana had recently purchased some grape vineyards in the Mendoza region of Argentina. Keep an eye out for when his Argentine lineup reaches the market.
Next stop on the trip was O’Shaughnessy Vineyards, where we meet with owner, Betty O’Shaughnessy and had a chance to taste her new releases, the 2007 Cabernet from Howell Mountain and 2007 Mt. Veeder Cabernet. I thought it would be difficult to top their 2006 vintage, which by my book were both 95 pointers, but both offerings out of the 2007 vintage were outstanding. Stop into the store soon to find out why the Howell Mountain scored 95/100 WA ($69) and the Mt. Veeder scored 95-98/100WA ($89). We have both wines at Imbibe, but they are limited and will sell out quickly. You can taste these amazing wines and meet Betty along with the owners of Robert Craig, Fontanella and Yates at Imbibe’s Mt. Veeder Winemaker dinner coming up on the October 20th. This is a once in a lifetime event being hosted at the Bakersfield Country Club. Seating is limited and the price is only $69 per person. Tickets are almost sold out, so call Imbibe today and make a reservation.
To finish our trip properly, we had an opportunity to taste Detert, the finest Cabernet Franc in America, alongside Tom Garrett’s Cabernet Sauvignon from family-owned vineyards dating back to 1949. This property is believed to hold the oldest Cabernet Franc vineyard in Napa Valley. This vineyard is highly coveted because it only produces 2.5 tons of grapes per acre and the majority of the fruit goes to Mondavi wines for their Reserve program. This is easily the finest Cab Franc in the Valley and the Cabernet Sauvignon is just as outstanding. Both wines are very limited and you can find them at Imbibe for the unreal price of $75. To prove the point as to how amazing that price is, consider this. The Detert Vineyard is surrounded on three sides by the To Kalon Vineyard, which many consider the finest Cabernet Vineyard in Napa Valley. Wines of this quality and pedigree sell for well over $125 a bottle. Stop in soon before these great values disappear.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Winemaker dinner next week, and around the wine bar in the weeks to come.
Until next time,