Foyt Family Wines
2011 No. 14 Oak Knoll District Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Oak Knoll District (Napa)
Firing on all cylinders
You would think that after seven years of sleuthing out wines that we Wine Spies would be a little jaded. We are offered all manner of wines. Some are fantastic - and many are simply sub-par. We reject anything that we don’t love. When we are offered ‘celebrity wines’ we make a point to taste them, even though we don’t expect very much.
A.J. Foyt wines are a rare breed of celebrity wines. The sort that is well worthy of your attention. What makes the wine so good? Today’s Foyt Family Wines 2011 No. 14 Oak Knoll District Cabernet Sauvignon was made by our friend, winemaker Tom Meadowcroft, who makes spy-pleasing wines that our tasting panel is uniformly crazy about.
Today’s single vineyard wine hails from the Oak Knoll District, at the southern end of the Napa Valley. This AVA (American Viticultural Area) is widely regarded as the sweet spot for lowland Cabernet Sauvignon. Hot days and cool nights, coupled with the alluvial soils found there, combine to provide ideal conditions for classic Napa Cabernet.
We offer you this wonderful, elegant and complex wine with our boldest recommendation.
Vivid scarlet at its core, it transforms into a light, beautiful ruby at its edge.
Elegant on the nose, leading with subdued dark fruit notes of blackberry and plum, trailed by hints of a fresh spring garden, aged leather, dark chocolate, clove, and black peppercorn.
A pleasant brightness and levity on the palate. Stewed plum and black cherry are laid overtop hints of sweet tobacco leaf, berry bramble, sage, rosemary, dark spices, and just a slight touch of minerality.
Truly elegant at the finish, with a slightly tannic but overwhelmingly luxurious feel on the mouth. At the very end, a touch of lavender and mocha linger on the tongue.
We recommend a classic meal of filet mignon rubbed with Provencal herbs and then grilled to perfection.
What the Winery Says
No. 14 was first used by Foyt patriarch A.J. Foyt in 1967 when he won the Indianapolis 500 for the third time. Since 1973, the No. 14 cars won the 1977 and 1999 Indianapolis 500 mile races. With its heritage of motor sports supremacy, the No. 14 holds a special meaning for the Foyt Family, and signifies another opportunity to prove its singular excellence against powerful competition.
Dark in color, this Foyt Cabernet shows different layers of blackberries, plums, and cassis, with richer notes of spices and cigar box flavors. This classic Napa Cabernet displays firm tannins with a complete and elegant finish. With a lush and smooth feel in the mouth, this wine will age for many years.
- Tom Meadowcroft
- Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
- Fruit Composition
- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Aged for 20 months in French, American, and Hungarian Oak
About the Winery
A.J. Foyt is an icon in motorsports. He is the all-time winner of Indy car races and titles, first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, and the only man to win the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of LeMans and the Daytona 500 auto races. However, when asked about what is most important to him, he always replies, “My family.”
His son Larry and grandson A.J. Foyt IV created the Foyt Family Wines label to pay tribute to the family patriarch as they launched their first business venture together. It was born out of their passion for fine wine, but before wine it was racing that ignited their fire. Larry Foyt began his professional driving career after graduating from Texas Christian University. His focus was NASCAR where he competed in all three national series, including the Daytona 500. He also raced in the Indianapolis 500 for Indy cars, making him one of the few drivers to compete in America’s two most prestigious races.
A.J. Foyt IV began his pro career driving for his legendary grandfather in the Indianapolis 500 on his 19th birthday, making him the youngest driver to ever start in that world class event. He continues to drive in the IndyCar Series which is where he has made his name and his home. While A.J. set the standard in motorsports, his progeny is setting a new standard in racing personality labeled wines. They know that when their family and friends gather at A.J.’s Houston home over the holidays, their wine will be enjoyed – and admired – for its quality and attention to detail. In the Foyt Family, it’s about excellence, a standard embodied by the father and one that his son and grandson continue to pursue.
Winemaker Tom Meadowcroft
My passion for wines comes from my experiences growing up, working and traveling in Europe and the United States. Early in life, I started my journey in winemaking by working the harvest of 1979 in Bordeaux.
Later in life, I worked at wineries in Washington and Napa, attended UC Davis and Napa College, and then became a wine manager focused on sustainable farming and environmental advocacy. Managing dozens of properties for the top wineries in Napa and Sonoma taught me the principles of winegrowing and gave me a vision for the kinds of wines that I make today.
With over 60 years of excellence behind the Foyt brand, I am honored to work with the Foyt Family in their passion of growing their wine business. I look forward to many years of fun times and fine wines together with the Foyts. Thanks for your interest in Foyt Family Wines. I hope you enjoy and share our wines with your family and friends.
Winemaker Petar Kirilov
Petar Kirilov grew up in Bulgaria, graduating from the prestigious University of Food Technologies in 2002 with a Master’s degree in Beverage Technology, with a specialization in wine, beer, spirits and soft drink technology.
He began his professional career at a Bulgarian factory specializing in high alcohol beverages. In 2003 he decided to leave for California and learn more about the winemaking process. He interned at Truchard Vineyards in Napa, being promoted to assistant winemaker. In 2005 he joined Vinovation, a hi-tech wine company, as winemaker and was involved in numerous research and development projects.
Petar joined Meadowcroft Wines in 2008 as a winemaker to oversee the production of small lot wines. In 2012, he became the winemaker for the Foyt Family, Meadowcroft, and Thomas Henry labels.