Friday, January 28, 2011

Flying high with Sinatra

Sinatra Family Estates is a newly established winery in the never ending story of Napa Valley. It’s owned by Frank Sinatra’s children Nancy, Tina and Frank Jr, as well as John Schwarz and Danielle Price who run the business. There is just over two hectares of estate vineyard south of the town Calistoga, planted to Bordeaux varietals on a gentle slope with soils composed of volcanic clay, sand, gravel and cobbles. Winemaker is Kent Jarman, but he is assisted by well known Heidi Peterson-Barrett (winemaker at Screaming Eagle until 2005, now at Revana, Amuse Bouche, Au Sommet and her own label La Sirena).
The Sinatra family also owns 1.20 hectares in Tuscany, where they with Bibi Graetz make a blend of Sangiovese and Colorino called La Voce.

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon “Come Fly With Me” / 92-94 p
This inaugural vintage is made of 90 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, seven percent Cabernet Franc and three percent of Petit Verdot from the family vineyard in Calistoga. The upbringing took place in brand new French oak barrels from coopers Taransaud, Seguin-Moreau and Saury for 22 months, a quite common recipe in the cellars of Napa Valley.
I really couldn’t keep my fingers from popping the cork on this wine, although I knew it was too early to drink it. I was too curious for that. So I pulled the cork, poured the wine into a decanter, and let it sit there for two hours. As all young Napa Valley cabernets, it was dark and concentrated, at first a bit closed but intense and somehow spicy. The nose is loaded with dark berries, you’ll find cherries, blackberries and cassis, but also some sweetish vanilla and slightly roasted notes from the oak. Based on my experience of Calistoga wines, I expected the taste to be more tannic. Of course the structure is huge, but I found the tannins to be ripe and perfectly well integrated in the rich, ripe, intense, a bit lush (but not sweet) and therefore silky body. This is a beauty, as very fine tuned wine with great concentration and length, and the high scores are based on the overall balance and finesse. The only thing I miss now is a bit more complexity – and that will come with bottle age.
It’s recommended to decant the wine at least one but rather two hours prior to serving it – it opened up just beautifully with air and continued to evolve in the decanter throughout the meal.
Drink it 2012-2022.

1 comment:

  1. This is seriously a beauty, as pretty good tuned wine with fantastic concentration and length
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