Day six, MW seminar, the final day
The last day of events like this are always so bitter sweet for me. On one hand I am ready to return to my normal life and family and on the other hand, I feel this has been such an amazing experience that I am sad it is over. The experience that I have gained since Friday is invaluable even if I never become a Master of Wine. I leave my first residential seminar with a road map of what I must learn and the skills I need to hone. I was telling Steve that the game has changed, the bar is raised and now I need to figure out how to make the jump.
After saying good bye to new friends I took the tip of my new friend and fellow MW student, Dana Andrus and called a new winery that is has started operations in Napa, Trespass Vineyards. Owner Donny Gallagher answered the phone and said he could meet me, on very short notice, at his vineyard. I followed his directions and before I even tasted the wines I knew that I was going to find something to buy. Their vineyard, and it is just that, a vineyard and picnic pad, sits directly off the back door of my favorite Napa Cab producer, Spottswoode. Next door is the Nickle and Nickle vineyard, Dragonfly and Dan Duckhorn has fruit behind them. The property sits almost at the foot of Spring Mountain.
Donny opened up the first wine and the bouquet almost knocked me out of my seat. Massive aromas of currants, mocha, vanilla and herbs exploded out of the glass. Texturally the wine was dense, balanced and showed a lot of fruit, an accomplishment for a 15.2 percent alcohol Cabernet Franc. Yes, thats right, Cabernet Franc. If you have never tasted one you liked before, this one stands a good shot.
After that we tasted the 2002 Cabernet and the 2001 Cabernet, space and hunger prevent me from writing full notes here. By the time we pulled the third cork Donny’s wife Dana joined us and regaled me with stories of their children. I would probably buy these wines even if they were not stunning because it is people like this that we want to support. Expect to see their arrival in mid-March. Their production is small and the wines are not cheap but this is going to be a property to watch. By the way, the current vintages were made by Charles Hendricks, one of Napa’s hot winemakers, but after 2002 the wines are made by Nils Venge and his son.
The lack of sleep last night means an early night for me tonight. Only two more evenings left until I finally go home.