Quite a Character
In many of the world’s great wine regions, the best wines show some similarity of character. I have been making wines in Napa Valley for more than 30 years now, and I believe we are reaching this point. Today, we can explain what our wine's character truly is.
We have the ability to consistently provide wines that are rich, textured, ripe, brooding and assertively amiable.
However, I believe only a few grape varieties have the ability to fully express the essence of the valley's special character.
Cabernet is the king of essence in Napa. We are making Cabernets that have their own style, that can fully express this Napa character. We are no longer being compared to Bordeaux, and that means that our wine has taken on a life of its own.
I figure that if vintners work hard to bottle the character of this place, well, it would be a good thing for both consumers and vintners. I like the idea of Napa Valley wines having a certain amount of consistency … and I think that we are seeing more producers capturing that essence every year. Naysayers may have a point that this results in some “homogenization" of wines, but I feel there is always plenty of room for individual nuance.
It is a difficult task to get all the potential goodness of a grape into a bottle. It comes from the land and the climate, but it would not have happened without the people and their efforts. Napa Valley deserves a badge of honor. We are making wines that could come from nowhere else. Besides being the wines that I long for (because they are my favorite), Napa Valley wines stand proudly in the world.