***BOTTLING LATE NOVEMBER/EARLY DECEMBER WITH ASAP SHIPPING FOR HOLIDAYS
Break out the Monte Christo's folks, this might just be the score of the century. Nectar of the Gods, indeed!
I received a phone call the other day from a rather legendary winemaker in Napa Valley inviting me up to the winery to taste through a couple dozen barrels of 2003 and 2007 Ports he had unearthed. Curiosity got the better of me (in part because of the exorbitant price - twice of the price of the most expensive bulk wine I had ever purchased), and I finally made a visit a month or so ago. Very glad I did and I think you will be too.
I can't really share any of the details of how this winemaker happened to come upon these barrels but, the minute I stuck my nose in the glass, I knew he had something special. Winemaker Mark and I then proceeded to taste through two-dozen barrels and picked the best ones for a couple of 2-barrel blends, a 2003 Tawny Port (Zin-based) and a 2007 Tawny Port (Petite Sirah-based).
I regret now not buying more as the remainder of the inventory has subsequently been spoken for by other winemakers and
vigneron. Oh well, I expect you'll start to see these in Napa Valley tasting rooms priced anywhere from $200-$300/bottle. For a comparable product, check out Prager Port Works 2005 "Colheita" Napa Valley Port at $225/bottle.
Please note: My understanding is that the owner employed a solera system, pulling and topping about 5% of each barrel each year and then selling off one barrel. I am no Port compliance expert but I believe that the 5% or less addition would have enabled the producer the rights to use the vintage on the label. However, because we don't have the paper trail for the TTB, this will not be vintage-dated on our label. At a minimum, this Port is approximately 12+years average-age. Vintage-dated or not, the resulting wine is sublime.
So, here we go folks, this is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a "2007" Napa Valley Zinfandel Port at a fraction of the price - just $43/500ml or $129 for the three-pack.
The Petite Sirah makes for a bit more ruby color to the tawny. Maraschino cherry, aromatic cedar and spruce weave beautifully with Italian herbs, white raisin and vanilla caramel. It explodes on entry with palate-staining concentration redolent with cherries and white raisins that gradually yields to an ethereal, long-lingering finish. Mouth-watering acidity keeps things well-structured, beautifully elegant and never cloying. The complexity here is fantastic. 100% Petite Sirah Port - Solera started 2007 19% alc. ~900 bottles produced Anticipated bottling late November, early December