Experience sensory wine tasting

July 15, 2008 5:19:12 PM PDT
Discover a new way to drink wine by using your senses. Spencer Christian recently indulged in a unique tasting experience in Napa Valley.

Caldwell Vineyard tasting notes:

2005 Rocket Science, Napa Valley, Caldwell Vineyard
Dark garnet with aromas of black cherries, and other ripely intense black fruits, root beer and cherry cola, black pepper, herbs, sweet tobacco, cardamom and a whiff of wild sweaty boar lead to flavors of macerated black cherries, briny olives, espresso and black pepper. Fresh with wonderful acidity and balanced tannins. A long, sweet velvety finish. Drink now and enjoy for the next 5 years.

Composition: 33% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Tannat
Appellation: Napa Valley
Winemaker: Philippe Melka
Aging: 18 months in French oak barrels
Alcohol: 14.4%
Production: 1600 cases

2005 Caldwell Silver Proprietary Red
Napa Valley, Caldwell Block 15
Deeply garnet, the 2005 flagship Silver exhibits a medium bodied and intensely developed bouquet of black brambly fruits and sweet blackberries with layers of smoke, eucalyptus, herbs, espresso and cigar box, complemented by spicy black pepper and cloves, with just a kiss of anise. This highly concentrated cabernet/syrah blend has all the hallmarks of the new millennium style of soft tannins, gobs of fresh fruit flavors and a lush mouthfeel. The long velvety finish brings notes of vanilla and dark chocolate. Drink over 7- 9 years.

Composition: 60% Syrah, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley Caldwell Vineyard, Block 15
Winemaker: Philippe Melka
Aging: 18 months French Oak
Alcohol: 14.5%
Production: 474 cases

2005 Caldwell Gold Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Napa Valley, Caldwell Vineyard, Block 15
This deeply opaque, ruby wine expresses a lushly perfumed bouquet of fresh blackberries, sun kissed figs, Belgian dark chocolate and Cuban cigars with overtones of rich dark coffee beans, black licorice, cloves and black pepper. A voluptuous and round mouthful offers sumptuous jam, figs and cassis, with a hint of vanilla bean and hazelnut. Balanced and structured with lingering soft tannins and a silky long finish. Drink over the next 7 years.

Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Napa Valley, Caldwell Vineyard, Block 15
Winemaker: Philippe Melka
Aging: 24 months French Oak
Alcohol: 14.2%
Production: 163 cases

2004 Chardonnay by Caldwell
Napa Valley, Caldwell Vineyard Block 15
Soft Lemony gold with medium plus intensity, this chardonnay enjoys all the attributes of Burgundy with a beautiful nose of yellow and green apples, ripe pears and figs, and tropical notes of guava and luscious pineapple layered over minerality redolent of wet stones and granite. This is followed by a hint of sweet white pepper and just a whisper of crème brulee. The mouthfeel is gorgeous, soft, balanced and round with loads of mouth watering acidity and a long finish with flavors of lemon peel, apricots, pineapple and a burst of minerality. A stunning wine, aged two years in Mersault oak barrels from Burgundy. Drink now and over the next four years.

Composition: 100% Chardonney, clone 809
Appellation: Napa Valley, Caldwell Block 15
Winemaker: Kurt Niznik
Aging: 24 months in French Mersault barrels
Alcohol: 12.6%
Production: 50 cases

The Caldwell family has been rooted in the wine country for 120 years and survived prohibition by selling "medicinal" wine. John Caldwell has become a viticultural legend in the Napa Valley. John traveled in Europe, where he learned about a new wave of viitculture focused on rootstocks and clones, particularly among the Grand Cru vineyards of Bordeaux.

Twenty five years later, his vineyard has grown to 123 acres, 70 of which are planted to vine. Caldwell was the first in Napa Valley to use the innovative technique of whole-berry, direct-barrel fermentation for his red wines, which can be seen in his recently completed 20,000 square feet of underground caves.

Caldwell Vineyard
270 Kreuzer Lane
Napa, CA 94559
707-255-1294
Tastings by Appointment
www.caldwellvineyard.com

Decanting Napa Valley, an association of excetional travel, food and wine resources. Decanting Napa Valley has partnered with Viviani Inc. to launch Appellation Connoisseur. Appellation Connoisseur is a unique wine club that is based on a specific appellation. The "cult" wines are not only collected, signed by both the owner and winemaker but then the guest have an opportunity to "break bread" for a Harvest party during the fall of each year to meet these owners and winemakers while dining at the top restaurants, private estates and elegant venues along the way. It includes two cases of the most sought after wines which are hand selected by Scott Lewis and Linda Viviani for this special wine club.

For more information, contact Linda Viviani (707) 484-2911 or visit www.viviani.com.

Also featured in this segment:

Barbara Paige, Sommelier
As an Operations Director for Beverage and Food Group, Barbara was instrumental in re-launching the brand Beaulieu Vineyard in a five-year project that involved educational wine and tasting events to the public, arts and cultural institutions, foundations and various charitable institutions in 22 cities across the country. She has been in the wine world off and one for over 30 years, initially working for Inglenook wines. It was not until 12 years ago that Barbara would completely immerse herself in a wine career, due more than anything else to serendipity and her intense love of art, food and wine. She had formal training in the International Sommelier Guild and the Court of Master Sommeliers, completing the advanced Grand Diplomate level of certification after two years, one of those years with the Cordon Bleu. Four days after the brutal testing, Barbara was on her way to France, spending a week respectively in Burgundy, the Loire, the Rhone, Provence and two weeks in Bordeaux.


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