It’s a weekend of 95’s. We had a bottle of their 96 about a year ago. Time to try the 95. On the nose; I get dark currants, a cognac/eau de vie character, ripe; blackberries, dark cherries, stewed black plum, black raspberries, blueberries, anise, cinnamon, vanilla, light spice, black tea, dark cola, light eucalyptus, bay leaf, dry top soil, crushed dry rocks, dry stems and fresh & dry dark florals. The body is medium with soft, round Rutherford dusty tannins. It’s very integrated, layered and complex. The fruits are fresh, ripe and juicy. Blackberries, dark cherries, stewed black plum, black raspberries, blueberries, strawberries paint the background, cognac/eau de vie character, mocha, caramel, dark spice, light clove, cinnamon, vanilla, suede style leather, dart crushed rocks, dry top soil, dry stems, eucalyptus, bay leaf, mint, steeped tea, violets and fresh & dry dark florals. The acidity is excellent. The structure is still rather big for a wine that’s been in the bottle 20 years. Great length and balance. The long finish is gorgeously lush and beautiful. This 95 might be a touch better than the 96 from a year ago. Still has another 7-10 years of good drinking ahead. Appreciate the 13.5% alcohol. Much more palatable than the 14.5/15-15+ in today’s Napa Cabernet’s. I am more and more convinced that not only is the Tapestry a great value, but you should wait 20 years in the right vintages to enjoy them. There’re just simply that much better! Photos of; the tasting building on Hwy 29, Founder Georges de Latour, sunset road signage and their tasting room. Since they are one of the first Napa wineries, here are their historical and producer notes. BV took its name from the French translation of the term “Beautiful Place”. BV was founded in 1904 by Georges de Latour when he obtained 40 acres of vines cultivated in the late 1870’s. His first purchase in California came when Latour bought the Ewer and Atkinson Winery. The purchase came with a vineyard first cultivated in 1880. Those purchases became larger in 1907 when he obtained the Hastings vineyard just east from Rutherford. Around the time of those purchases, Georges de Latour moved from France to California. He was no stranger to the wine industry as he was well known for selling phylloxera resistant root stock to growers in California. The vineyard started to come together in 1900, when Georges de Latour began purchasing vines in Rutherford. The initial wines released by BV were made from purchased grapes, or wines that were produced by other growers, as their vineyards were not yet productive. Georges de Latour was a person who never passed on a good opportunities. During Prohibition, he purchased vineyards at reduced prices, as they were being abandoned. BV managed to thrive during Prohibition due to their production of wine for religious services. BV was one of the first Napa Valley estates to begin using modern, French wine making techniques. They also credited for making the first wine produced from mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, BV Private Reserve. None of this could have been accomplished without the assistance of Andre Tchelistcheff. Andre was hired by Georges de Latour and moved to California from France in 1938. Andre was responsible for introducing many of the modern wine making techniques that were used in Europe. It was Andre who began thinking about frost protection during the growing season. He also pioneered the need for proper sanitation and the use of small, French oak barrels for aging of the wine. He also insisted that malolactic fermentation become part of the wine making process. Andre eliminated pasteurization and introduced the technique of cold fermentation to increase the color and concentration of the wine. As well, Andre introduced modern, viticulture practices of Europe. He began replanting the vineyards with higher levels of density, reducing the amount of sulfur used in the vineyards. More importantly, Andre focused on planting high quality French grape varietals. It was Andre that helped Cabernet Sauvignon get its start in the Napa Valley. He was also responsible for bringing Pinot Noir to Napa, but soon agreed that the cooler climates of Sonoma was better for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Geroges de Latour passed away in 1940. After his passing, day to day operations were taken over by his wife and daughter, with the continued aid of Andre Tchelistcheff. The company continued to grow and by the early 1960’s BV was selling nearly a 100,000 cases of wine per year. In 1969, BV was sold to Heublin. The winery was later purchased by Diageo, who in turn sold the vineyards to Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates in 2015. BV is one of the largest land owners in Napa Valley with more 1,100 acres under vine. Their best parcels are located in the Rutherford appellation. They’ve planted of all the major Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Additionally some, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. They also maintain a vineyard that is used to experiment with a wide variety of different grape varieties including; Carignane, Petite Sirah and Valdiguie. — 9 days ago
WNH Southern gathering hosted by @Mike R and old Heitz vertical (70,74,85) sourced by @Martin G Rivard (from Benchmark) who also contributed some on his own dime. This ‘70 started with a wet cardboard musty nose and a slightly hollow mid palate and astringent finish. As the evening evolved and the steak showed up the wine did a complete 180. More tannins than fruit but it was a structured beauty that may not be at it’s peak but is still a gorgeous wine. Ripe plum, stewed fig, bayleaf. I didn’t get any eucalyptus from this but there’s a strong earthy, old world with a CA spin vibe. After dinner and before the fire pit some of us finished the decanter of this and were impressed at how it was still ascending hours after being opened. — 10 days ago
Amazingly pure fruit and open knit inviting tannins for a’14. Dark as midnight in the glass, a thread of graphite unites flavors of blueberry, cassis, oak and dense blackberry jam. This wine has a flavor profile much like Continuum in terms of depth and polish with perhaps a bit more concentration at this stage. Appreciated the opportunity to enjoy this @Jason Chang — 6 days ago
On the nose; macerated lemon syrup, ripe golden & green apple, grapefruit, Bosc pear, golden raisins, volcanic minerals, chalky limestone, yellow lilies and jasmine. The body is thick and round...a fair amount of lee’s contact and bâtonnage. Syrupy macerated lemon heads, ripe golden & green apple, grapefruit, Bosc pear, golden raisins, butterscotch, volcanic minerals, chalky limestone, yellow lilies and jasmine. The long finish is rich and beautiful and lasts over a minute. Photos of, a Hudson Vineyard and the harvest team picking the Merlot at night. Producer notes...Christopher Vandendriessche (Winemaker shown in the right photo) was raised at White Rock Vineyards, his family's estate in the southern foothills of the Stag's Leap Range of Napa Valley. He holds degrees in Physics from UC Santa Cruz and Enology from the University of Bordeaux. Christopher spent his early winemaking years in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Spain and Argentina. Afterward, he returned to Napa as the Assistant Winemaker under John Kongsgaard at Luna. In 1999 Christopher took over winemaking at his family's winery, where he continues to produce White Rock wines, as well as Hudson wines. However, White Rock was destroyed in the recent fires in Napa/Sonoma. Hudson Ranch is owned by Lee Hudson (shown in the photo on the left). He was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Lee received his B.S. in Horticulture at the University of Arizona. After his studies at U of A, he worked Jacques Seysses of Domaine Duja located in Morey St. Denis, Burgundy. It was there he learned that great grapes from hallowed vineyard sites produce truly world class wines. Lee returned to the States to continue his graduate studies in viticulture and enology at University of California at Davis, where many of his classmates are now his clients. Lee searched for property from Santa Barbara to Mendocino, before deciding on the Carneros property in Napa Valley and founding Hudson Vineyards in 1981. They grow 17 different varietals...many you might now expect. Including; Aleatico, Albariño, Arneis, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Grenache, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Verdejo, Vermentino & Viognier. The also sell fruit to the following producers; Arietta, Aubert, Bedrock, Robert Foley Vineyards, Failla, Keplinger, Kistler, Kongsgaard & Patz & Hall. — 4 days ago
The legendary ‘74 Heitz Martha’s from Magnum in the wine cellar room at the Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC. This delivered on the promise of the advance publicity I’ve heard for years. I recall reading an article about the ‘74 years ago that said this was the first vintage that David Heitz was the main winemaker. Joe had back surgery and was even hospitalized at some point so David would bring samples to his bedside and get advice. Each and every thing you enjoy about this unique winery is in this bottle. Eucalyptus, tobacco, mint, herb, cherry and tart rhubarb pie, menthol, cedar and forest floor. Still dynamic and spirited at 40+ years. A remarkable, rare treat.
The photo above the bottle shows the color variation between the ‘74 (left) and the ‘70 (right) and those hues were indicative of the wines themselves. The ‘74 was energetic with silky red fruit, the ‘70 more brooding and chewy. — 10 days ago
Our bartender and cellar guard last Saturday, Tommy Kofler. This Levy & McClellan was a big surprise for me. I had an ‘05 a couple years ago and I️ did not care for it. This bottle was far far more complex, balanced and feminine than I expected. Bold fruit yes, but a velvet water slide finish that killed. I’m also noticing a trend with ‘09 Napa. It’s opening up and strutting around the henhouse a little. Until recently I gelt they were shut down and angular. Thank you @David L — 6 days ago
On the nose; half baked & half stewed, ripe fruits. Blackberries, black cherries, blueberries, black raspberries, plum, strong anise, black cherry cola, vanilla, cinnamon, wood shavings, loamy soils, volcanic minerals, violets and fresh dark florals. The body is medium with the tannins nearly completely resolved. The fruits are ripe & juicy and come in waves over the palate. Blackberries, black cherries, blueberries, black raspberries, plum, strawberries, strong anise, black cherry cola, vanilla, cinnamon, liqueur notes, heavily steeped black fruit tea, wood shavings, touch of leather, dry crushed rock powder, dry herbs, dry stems, loamy soils, volcanic minerals, violets and fresh dark florals. The acidity rains over the palate. The structure is soft, the length long & elegant, well balanced and the beautiful finish lasts over a minute. Still in good shape but needs to be enjoyed inside of three years. After 20 years in the bottle, she has become an elegant beauty! Photos of; their tasting bar, tasting room exterior, wine lab hovering over barrel room and their Estate. Still one of the very few places in Napa you can taste 4-5 wines at no charge. #oldschool #respect — 11 days ago
Celebrating the birth of our twins, Drew and Emma!!! Can't go crazy while helping feed the little ones every 3 hours, but a glass of this is a great change to 4 nights in the hospital.
Classic Matthiasson Napa Red Blend. Definitely give it a little air, but it is somewhat passed its prime in my mind. The nose is the best part, then the finish, but it is starting to run thin and losing fruit and tannins. Still a great wine!
Back to burp cloths and bottles of a different type :) — 4 days ago
Pleasantly surprised by this! Jessup is a household favorite for their everyday drinkers (check out their zin), but after having their ‘10 Vineyard O Cab last month, I wanted to try this in comparison. This is MUCH better. The Vineyard O Cab was so chewy and disjointed. However, this seems to be peaking. Sweet nutmeg, blueberry pie and birch wood on the nose. Full bodied and a killer mid palate through the finish after an hour of being open. Rush of blue and black fruits, plum, cassis, lavender and vanilla. Glad to have another one of these. — 6 days ago
Again, since tasted blind, guessed were a bit unique, but my first thought was a 5-7yr old CdP, but the fruit was too powerful and dominant. My next guess was a 10+ yr old Grenache from Napa. As you can see, both guesses were off! Shouldn’t be too surprised...this is my second time having a VA Petite Sirah and both times it has performed wonderfully. Can’t think of a better PS coming out of Cali. At 14yrs old, this is gorgeous. Bramble blackberries, dusted cocoa leaves, clay, plum. — 7 days ago