Cade is cutting edge green and beyond. The winery on Howell Mountain was built to reflect the rugged masculine feel of the terrain, resting on a steep rocky slope surrounding by towering trees. "Cade" is a Shakespearean reference to a cask or barrel.
Some winemakers’ personalities are so much like their wines, and their wines’ character like themselves, that when you meet them, or taste their wines, you immediately make the connection. Robert Mondavi always exuded a sense of elegance that came through in his wines.
If you looked at Jean-Guillaume Prats’ passport this week, it would have stamps showing he’d been in France, Singapore, Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Thailand (Bangkok), Indonesia (Jakarta), the United States and back to France.
Never mind troubled wines, a flawed cellar or even the need to replant vineyards. The Chateau Montelena deal is all about potential and what lies ahead, Jean-Guillaume Prats said Tuesday in an interview in Napa.
Since most of us don’t reside anywhere near the top of wine food chain, at some point we intersect with the distribution system. Depending on where you live, of course, it can be anything from a piddling annoyance to a grander, weightier matter that transcends irritation.
As the tastings wind down for any given varietal, and the wines that need a second, or third, or even fourth review pass through the tasting room, sometimes things get ugly. We re-taste wines for a variety of reasons.
Last week’s heat wave-induced grape picking frenzy seems like a distant memory now that temperatures in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino dipped back into the tolerable range over the weekend. This morning it was downright chilly, and the trees and their yellowing leaves are signaling the onset of fall.
Here’s a topic for everyone: “I'm new to wine collecting,” writes Jeffrey, “and still trying to get my arms around some of these issues. What are examples of big, overripe, fruit forward, etc. ‘faddish’ wines? Is Joseph Phelps Insignia in this category? The Martinelli/Turley (Marcassin) Pinot Noirs?” Welcome to wine’s hottest button.
The wait card for harvest 2008 has been pulled out of the deck for many winemakers. Hot weather the past few days in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino, with forecasts yet of more to come, has taken away winemakers’ option of waiting to see which way the weather will break and whether to let the grapes hang, in hopes of milder weather, or pick.
Sure, the popularity of the modern style of riper wines is controversial. Yet winemakers I’ve talked with in recent weeks have no intent on changing styles. Why should they? Their wines are selling out at their asking prices, whether it’s $50 or $150 a bottle, in some instances much higher prices for Napa Cabernet.
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