Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Prisoner

Today marks the release of Orin Swift’s 2011 “The Prisoner”. We have a small allocation of this wine and wanted to share some with you today because we have a longstanding connection to this unique red blend. This wine has become a cultural phenomenon and we like to think that we helped play a small role in the success.

Our Napa wine bar carried this wine in 2007 when it was still largely unknown. It was a treat to share it with our guests and watch their reactions before it took the wine world by storm. Luckily we still have a few bottles this year with your name on them! It pays to get in the game early.

The 2011 vintage’s hedonistic blend is made up of 51% Zinfandel, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Charbono and 1% Grenache. Order yours today before it flies off into the night!

Cheers and Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2012

2012 Harvest Update Continued

We've made it… after months of watching our grapes slowly mature, the time has come to turn off the oven and get to the fun part. I was up in Oakville and St. Helena late last week with our winemaker Tim checking out our rows of Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, and things look remarkable. As in textbook, this is how you draw up the anatomy of an ideal vintage remarkable. Big, beautiful clusters that are densely packed with berries dripping with sweet juice.
Grapes like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have mostly long-since been picked, but our Bordeaux varietals made the most out of sunshine, maxed out their flavor potential and were picked this weekend. Now that all our fruit is in, we’re looking at some seriously promising raw materials.
What I find most fascinating about the last stages before harvest are the differences that varietals – and even clones within those varietals - show late in the game. It’s where you can really see the variations in skin thickness, juice ratio and cluster size. Even seed maturation, one of the hallmarks of ripeness, varies among clones within a vineyard where they’re planted just a few rows apart. It gives you a sense of the sheer amount of decisions that go into the growing process and the staggering number of subtle variables to consider.
From our point of view, 2012 is likely going to be the rare combination of a big crop with exceptional quality. We’ll take it!
--Rhett Gadke
Wine Director

Thursday, October 11, 2012

2012 Harvest Update

We are here, waiting in the last weeks before harvest, watching the weather. The various vineyards weathered the only real hot spell last week beautifully and we are now seeing distinctly ripe flavors and tannins develop as a result. The heat was followed by mild days allowing the vines to recover, and they are now cruising toward the end of the season. We haven’t picked any Cabernet yet, but expect we might see Merlot from the western hills by the end of next week. At this point, the grapes are sweet, skin tannins are ripe and smooth, seeds are still ripening and flavors are coming along nicely. It looks in many ways like the ‘97 vintage, but only time will tell.
--Tim Milos