Few wines fit perfectly into my wheelhouse. This is one of a few. I picked this up at Seavey last weekend. 1997 is such a historic Napa vintage and this wine lives up to every inch of it. It’s a wine that you want to slowly sip all night.
On the nose; very, ripe; blackberries, sweet & sour dark cherries, black raspberries, black plum, huckleberries with slightly baked strawberries haunt the background. Mixed berry cola, vanilla, cherry liqueur notes, some black licorice, limestone minerals, very light clove, soft subtle dark spices, dry crushed rock powder, sweet tarry notes, saddle-wood, very soft leather, forest floor, blue flowers and dark fresh & withering flowers.
The body is gloriously soft, round and beyond elegant. Still has plenty of soft, round, slightly tarry tannins. The structure, tension, length and balance have hit its sweet spot with another 7-10 years of really good drinking left. It’s harmony on the palate. Ripe; blackberries, sweet & sour dark cherries, black raspberries, black plum, huckleberries with slightly baked strawberries haunt the background. Mixed berry cola, vanilla, notes of caramel, cherry liqueur notes, steeped fruit tea, some black licorice, just a hint of herbaceous, limestone minerals, very light clove, soft subtle dark spices, dusty tannins, dry crushed rock powder, gritty volcanic minerals, dry clay, sweet tarry notes, saddle-wood, chewy soft leather, forest floor, blue flowers and dark fresh & withering flowers. The acidity is about as perfect as I’ve had. The finish is nothing short of astounding. It’s long, elegant, ripe, well balanced and doesn’t end. One of the more exceptional wines I’ve had in some time.
Photos of, Seavey Winery & tasting room, the stairs the lead up to Williams office and show that late 18th century architecture, Williams desk in his old office and their Estate vines with the hillside painting the background. — 4 days ago
The nose reveals; dark, floral currants. Ripe; blackberries, black plum, black raspberries blue fruits & dark cherries. Black licorice, lots of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, clove, steeped dark fruit tea, soft volcanic minerals, soft leather, crushed dry rocks, blue & purple flowers with dark fresh & withering dark florals bouquet.
The body is full. The tannins nicely round & soft. The wine is juicy, delicious & easy to drink now. Ripe blackberries, black plum, black raspberries blue fruits & dark cherries. black licorice, lots of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, clove, steeped dark fruit tea, soft volcanic minerals, soft leather, crushed dry rocks, suede leather, dry underbrush, mint, hints if dry herbs, woody notes, blue & purple flowers with dark fresh & withering dark florals bouquet. The acidity is well executed. The finish is round, balanced, juicy and delicious.
Photos of, their lobby, labels of the assorted different producers that make their wines there and their tasting bar.
For those of you not familiar with Le Pich, I took this from their site...Le Pich, which is the Wappo Indian term for "golden eagle," is the sister label of Napa Valley's esteemed Purlieu Wines. The wines are crafted by rising star winemaker Julien Fayard. Originally from France, Julien has lived in the Napa Valley since 2006, when he and his wife agreed to settle down by “meeting halfway” — between his home in France… and hers in Sonoma. In France, Julien worked in both Provence and Bordeaux, where he defined his core winemaking style at the exalted first growth Château Lafite-Rothschild (he even lived in Lafite’s grand château for a period) as well as at Smith Haut Lafitte. In Napa, Julien worked at Quintessa before joining Atelier Melka, where he spent five years as the Director of Winemaking. He has worked with the likes of Lail Vineyards, Gemstone, Dalla Valle, and more and his Le Pich wines are some of the best values we've found in Napa Valley. — 11 days ago
From the "damned" 2011 vintage comes this 95 point Mia Klein wine from Cimarossa. Nose of dark chocolate, black licorice, and walnuts. Entry is thick, reductive, dark black fruit, plum, sweeter front. Middle is dominated by chocolate and hints of spice. Tannic finish has softened somewhat but still more on the stiff than resolved side. A little herbal notes on the finish. Nice acidity and great balance. Held back on giving this a 96 for some reason, but I still don't think this one is at the top. Thankfully getting some reinforcements on Friday! — 15 hours ago
On the nose, ruby, ripe fruits of; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, blue fruits & plum. Dark berry cola, fruit tea, light smoke, sweet light tarry, dark rich soils, black licorice with purple and dark red fresh flowers with violets.
The body is full. The tannins very smooth but tarry & sticky. The wine is beautiful, delicate and feminine over the palate. Gorgeous ripe currant & cassis. Blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, blue fruits & plum. Dark berry cola, fruit tea, light smoke, sweet light tarry, dark rich soils, dark & milk chocolate, dry clay, suede leather, touch of fresh tobacco, black licorice, dark spice with heat and purple, blue and dark red fresh, perfume flowers with violets. The acidity is and beautiful. The long finish is soft, gorgeous sexy, elegant and lasts minutes.
Photos of, one of the old restored Victorian houses on the property, Sinegal signage so you know your there, barrel caves that remind me of the ones at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, club members area with pizza oven and bocci ball court.
— 10 days ago
On the nose; very ruby, floral plum fruits of; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, Thompson raisins, fresh dates and prunes. Black licorice, creamy dark fruit cola, caramel, milk & dark chocolate, soft beautiful dark spice, touch of eucalyptus, fresh herbs, limestone, soft presence dry crushed rocks, a whiff of pepper, fresh lavender, violets and dark withering floral bouquet.
The body is full and lush. Fine meaty, tarry, tannins. Very ruby, floral plum fruits of; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, Thompson raisins, fresh dates and prunes. Black licorice, creamy dark fruit cola, caramel, milk & dark chocolate, soft beautiful dark spice, touch of eucalyptus, fresh herbs, limestone, soft presence dry crushed rocks, suede leather, dry clay, dry top soil, dry underbrush, a whiff of pepper, fresh lavender, violets and dark withering floral bouquet. The acidity is very nice. There is good structure, tension, length and balance that needs 10 years plus to flush out. The finish is good, well balanced with fine powdery sticky tannins.
Photos of, Cliff Lede tasting facility, wire woven sculptures that decorate the grounds, Owner David Lede and the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard.
Producer history and notes...Cliff Lede Vineyards (pronounced LayDee) was founded in 2002 on what used to be S. Anderson Vineyard, a winery that was founded in 1971 by Stanley and Carol Anderson primarily known for their sparkling wines.
Cliff Lede is from Leduc, Alberta a small town just south of Edmonton. The reason you see a Canadian flag in front of the parking next to the US Flag. David and Cliff helped run their father’s construction company he founded in 1947, Leduc Construction. Later the company was renamed to Ledcor Construction in 1982. They ultimately built the business into one of the world’s largest construction companies. Through Cliff, the company established business in the Napa Valley focusing on wineries, restaurants, premium resorts and private residences. Some of their more notable works include; Morimoto Restaurant, Davis Estate Winery, Lokoya Winery, Marciano Estate and the Riverfront Residences in downtown Napa.
After several decades at Ledcor, Cliff decided to pursue his passion for wine. His first introduction to wine was helping his mother make wine at home. Later he began collecting wines from Bordeaux, and even considered purchasing property there. However, he fell in love with Napa after business took him to Northern California.
Cliff Lede owns 60 acres of vineyards in the Stags Leap District. This includes the Twin Peaks Vineyard surrounding the winery and tasting room. The Poetry Vineyard was acquired a year after Cliff established Cliff Lede Vineyards. It is planted on steep hillsides down to the Silverado Trail. It’s planted with red Bordeaux varietals, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils there are extremely rocky. Despite being so close to the Poetry Vineyard, the soils in the Twin Peaks Vineyard are dramatically different. They are gravelly loam.
From a viticulture aspect, this diversity of terroir is a good representation of what the Stags Leap District has to offer, ranging from its upper most reaches of 400 feet to the valley floor. Even among their two Stags Leap properties, there are micro-climates. The west facing vineyard hillsides become quite warm during the day in the summer but cool off significantly in the evenings. This diurnal temperature swing is important for growing premium grapes including maintaining acidity.
The winery also owns a 20 acre vineyard in Calistoga at the base of Diamond Mountain planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a small block of Sauvignon Blanc.
Further to the north in Mendocino County is their Savoy Vineyard, which is a 42 acre site in Anderson Valley. It is planted mainly to Pinot Noir along with Chardonnay. It provides fruit for their FEL Wines (a name that Cliff chose to pay homage to his mother, using the first three initials of her full name Florence Elsie Lede.
Cliff’s love for all things “Rock and Roll”, he named all their blocks in their Stags Leap District Vineyards after famous rock and roll songs or albums such as “Dark Side of the Moon”, “Walk on the Wildside”, “Light my Fire” and “American Girl. ”Collectively these are referred to as the “Rock Blocks.”
David Abreu quickly realized the exceptional terroir of the Poetry Vineyard as did Cliff when they initially tried some of the S. Anderson wines from this site. Abreu oversaw its replanting and clonal material sourced from a number of premiere Napa vineyards. While Abreu was the original vineyard architect, he is no longer involved in the management of the their vineyards. They are now controlled by their in-house vineyard team.
The winery, tasting room and the nearby luxury Poetry Inn all opened around 2005. Architect Howard Gillam was hired to design the winery. Cliff’s background in construction and architectural preferences certainly influenced its design. The tasting room has a more contemporary feel rather then some of his more rustic looking designs. It features beautiful views of the Napa Valley. Inspired by the shape of tanks during a visit to Château Latour in Bordeaux, Cliff commissioned Missouri based Paul Mueller Company to create special truncated tanks for fermentation to help submerse more of the cap. Each tank corresponds to a specific vineyard block. During harvest, a specially designed crane gently moves and lowers a hopper full of whole berries into each tank.
Sorting is a big part of their attention to detail before fermentation. After the grapes come into the winery, they are sorted by hand, then run through an optical sorter and then finally put through an additional final hand sorting. Nearby is a 20,000 square foot cave that connects directly to the winery. World famous Michel Rolland was brought on in the early years as a consultant. Philipe Melka also made Cliff Lede wines for several years and today Christopher Tynan is the Winemaker. He was formerly Assistant Winemaker at Colgin.
Total annual production is between 18,000 and 20,000 cases depending on what Mother Nature gives them. The majority of this is comprised of their Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and their Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon. — 12 days ago
Kudos @Mike Smith
Fabulous Wine! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👍🏻🍇🍷
99 POINTS – 2013 SCARLETT RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
“The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon McGah Family Vineyard Reserve ratchets up everything to a perfect example of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Beautiful blueberry and blackberry fruit, an extraordinary equilibrium between acidity, alcohol, tannin and wood, stunning purity, a finish that goes on for close to a minute, and a dazzling palate presence from what appears to be an incredible terroir make this an amazing effort in Cabernet Sauvignon. This is magnificent Cabernet Sauvignon and should hit its prime in another 5-7 years and last 25-30.”
- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate — 6 days ago
@delectable this is not the reserve but a new wine called Black Aces and this is totally off the hook
GIII fruit made by V29 winemaker and this is incredible
Intoxicating smells - big inviting and lingers on
The color was amazing - what can I say but dark dark reddish purple and swirl in the glass you will see the film on the glass
Tasting is two fold - first is a sip to make sure the smell is confirmed but the 2nd is right after the initial approval - omg - damn near perfect - I think only 50 cases made so damn glad I got a few
The palette was dancing as I tried it and the finish was sooooooo loooooong - wow I counted 45 seconds
Bravo Jason, Tim Gleason and Cam Ward - 2016 will be your breakout year
Still smiling this morning
By the way it was great even without a long decent and I just know about 3-4 years of rest this baby might even score higher than my 9.7 which out of 900 wines I have posted I give this score or higher to only 3% of the wines which makes this is a remarkable new wine entry - to Greer fans - I think you will really like — 10 days ago
Time for my #FridayCabernetfix. Here is a nice one from Napa Valley.
Dark ruby in color with a short reddish rim.
On the nose, blackberries, black cherries, cooked plums, licorice, vanilla, cinnamon, graphite, earth, light vegetables, coffee, chocolates, mocha and black pepper.
Medium plus in body and elegant, with medium plus acidity and long legs.
Dry and fruity on the palate with blackberries, black cherries, cooked blueberries, cedar, leather, earth, vanilla, licorice, spices, chocolates, tobacco, mocha, coke, pencil lead and black pepper.
Long finish with fine grained tannins and tangy raspberries.
This is a great Cabernet from Stags Leap District. Well balanced and enjoyable by itself or with food. Showing nice complexity and a great mouthfeel.
Could use a few more years in the bottle to mature properly. Needs an hour to open up and show some tannins.
I loved the nose and kept on smelling on it for a long time.
Fermented and aged in 100% French Oak barrels for 22 months.
15.3% alcohol by volume.
$30. — 4 days ago
The nose reveals; dark currants, blackberries, heavy black plum, black raspberries, dark cherries and some blueberries. Black tea, expresso roast, anise, crushed dry rocks, big vanilla, clove, a little nutmeg, dry underbrush, sweet tarry notes, leather, woody notes with dark fresh & withering flower bouquet.
The body is big and lush. The tannins are big, meaty and tarry. Very dark currants. Blackberries, heavy black plum, black raspberries, dark cherries and some blueberries & strawberries as they open up. Black tea, expresso roast, steeped fruit tea, anise, crushed dry rocks, dry clay, big graphite, big vanilla, dark spice, clove, light dry herbs, a little nutmeg, dry underbrush, sweet tarry notes, leather, cedar with violets dark fresh & withering flower bouquet. The acidity is round, fresh and beautiful. The big, long, well balanced finish is excellent and look forward to having this in 15-20 years. This one will be a stunner!
Photos of, the barn where they make wine and hosts tastings, our private tasting area inside William’s old office. William desk and their outside terrace area.
Producer history & notes...Seavey Vineyard is located along Conn Valley Road in the eastern hills of Napa Valley, about 15 minutes from the valley floor.
This historical property was originally a cattle ranch. However, records indicate grapes were planted on some of the hillsides as early as the 1870’s. The stone dairy barn, still in existence, was built in 1881.
William & Mary Seavey purchased this property in 1979. The estate was originally founded by the Franco-Swiss Farming Company in 1881 which, closed down when Phylloxera destroyed their grape vines and the Volstead Act (Prohibition) went into effect. At the time of their purchase, they were a horse and cattle ranch. They quickly planted the slopes with grapes and initially sold their fruit to Raymond Vineyards. They have never purchased grapes, all their wine is made from estate grapes. Their vineyards are separated into 20 plus individual blocks.
Today, the property is about 200 total acres of which, 40 acres are planted to vine. Their hillside vineyards produce low yields of rich concentrated fruit. A small block of Chardonnay grows in a cooler lower part of their property. Besides grapes, they also raise cattle which are used to graze the hillsides. They feed the vineyard with the cattle cuttings. In 2003, they were one of the first Napa wineries to install solar.
Mary passed away in 2008 and William died in 2016. There daughter Dorie returned to the family business and now oversees the winery operations. Her brother Arthur also handles national and some small international sales, primarily to restaurants. However, most of their wine is sold direct to consumers.
Seavey’s first commercial vintage was released in 1990 a year after they renovated the stone dairy barn into a working winery. Today this stone building is the centerpiece of the property and is where tastings are hosted.
Since 2011, Jim Duane has been their day to day Winemaker. He’s worked at Robert Mondavi and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. It should also be noted that Philippe Melka Winemaker/Consultant has been with Seavey since 1995...one of Philippe’s two initial wine making jobs in the Napa Valley were with Seavey and Lail Vineyards.
Seavy makes about 3,200 cases annually depending on what mother nature brings. They make around two hundred cases of Chardonnay, slightly more Merlot and the rest is of the production is comprised of their Caravina and Estate Cabernets.
— 13 days ago
The nose shows sweet & a touch sour floral fruits. Some of the fruits have a baked quality. Ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, stewed plum, baked cherries & black raspberries & dry cranberries. Dark chocolate, soft, delicate minerals, light spice, light layered baking spices; vanilla, cinnamon & clove. Some dates, figs & prunes, star anise, saddle-wood leading to cedar, dark, rich, sweet soil, dry rock powder, steeped fruit tea and dark fresh & withering florals.
The body is medium and tannins are round and soft. The flavors are ripe & delicious. The fruits are slightly baked & stewed. Ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, stewed plum, baked cherries & black raspberries & dry cranberries. Dark chocolate, soft, delicate minerals, light spice, light layered baking spices; vanilla, cinnamon & clove. Some dates, figs & prunes. Anise, saddle-wood leading to cedar, dark, rich, sweet soil, dry rock powder, steeped fruit tea and dark fresh & withering florals. The acidity fresh, lively and like a waterfall. The finish is flushed out. Balanced, easy to drink but it seems like the bottle might have been longer than optimal as it showed a touch faded. For $350 a bottle at the winery, one can do much better at that price point. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good wine.
Photos of, Cliff Lede’s tasting facility, Grace Slick artistic impression of Woodstock with a few characters at the bottom right who were not present; Jesus, Buddha and a few others. Winemaker Christopher Tynan and their Estate vines. — 12 days ago