Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ovid Red Wine 2005

At 420 meters altitude, at the highest peak of western Pritchard Hill, with the most amazing view over Napa Valley, you’ll find the small and very elegant estate of Ovid Vineyards. This is one of the most exciting of the new estates in Napa Valley. It is founded and owned by the software program business partners Mark Nelson and Dana Johnson, but the 6.10 hectares of vines, were planted on the rugged virgin land by the well known viticulturist David Abreu, and famed wine maker Andy Erickson in 2000. The first harvest was 2005, and with low yields, production of the one estate wine, and small lots of so called Experiment wines, reaches only 600 cases in 2008.

2005 Ovid Red Wine / 97
This is the inaugural vintage of Ovid Red Wine, a blend of 82 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 percent Cabernet Franc and just a little Merlot and Petit Verdot. All grapes comes from the estate vineyard, at this stage only five years old, all planted in well drained red volcanic soil. After a strict selection, grapes are carefully destemmed and dumped into small open top fermenters of concrete and French oak, just as at the finest château of Bordeaux, to ferment with the natural yeast. The cuvaison stretches from 25 to 45 days depending on the grape variety and lot, with careful and frequent pigeage. Den free run wine is filled into premium French, around 80 percent new, for malolactic fermentation and maturation during 18 months.
It’s one of the best and most profound new wines from Napa Valley since the release of Sloan, Scarecrow and Kapcsándy. Just the nose of this wine will make you happy and thrilled, it’s just outstanding! It offers ad deep and intense, perfectly ripe and aromatic nose with loads of dark cherries, but also with lovely floral notes of violets and lavender, and the oak is extremely well integrated.
On the palate, the joy and happiness continues, again with a pure, dark and intense cherry fruit, however not as open as on the nose. That may be explained by the marked notes of mineral, the youthful and firm but yet elegant tannic structure which holds the fruit back. With some air, the wine opens up quite a bit, and it’s a pure pleasure to drink this exceptional wine. Alcohol reaches 14.8 percent, but it is so well integrated and masked by the minerals, the fresh acidity and the tannin, that it’s almost not notable at all.
Not needed to be mentioned, I just love this wine and I will keep my eyes open on this estate and their future releases. Based on the extraordinary finesse and balance, the fruit and structure, I predict this wine to evolve in the bottle for a long time, perhaps longer than my expectations at this early stage. Drink it 2010-2020.

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