What We Say 2007 Tinto St. Helena Napa Valley Red Wine
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Mission Codename: Embrace Peace
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Verify the rumors of a delicious field blend from the heart of Napa
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Casa Nuesta
Wine Subject: 2007 Tinto St. Helena – A Napa Valley Red Wine
Winemaker: Allen Price
St Helena, and most of Napa Valley for that matter, is dedicated to creating some of the world’s finest wines and specifically Cabernet Sauvignon. Which is why, when we heard rumors of Casa Nuestra’s field blend red grown in St. Helena we were quite intrigued. Field blends are an old world way of growing grapes where many varietals are all planted in the same vineyard. This was more common when the actual genetic identification of the varietals was more difficult. All the grapes from the field are fermented together. Some of California’s finest old-vine Zinfandel are planted as field blends with a little Petite Sirah, Carignan and other varietals.
Today’s wine is a blend with the actual percentage of each contributing varietal being undetermined: Old-Clone Zinfandel, Rofosco, Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Refosco, Napa Gamay, and one additional “mystery grape.”
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark purple with garnet and ruby streaks that shine through its dense but clear core. The deep color is sustained to the edge and when swirled, evenly spaced thin legs streak down the side of the glass to the wine below.
Smell – Bold and bright but not overpowering with aromas of black fruit, blackberry and a little spiced plum. Notes of black licorice, oak and floral violets intermingle with dusty herbal bramble notes.
Feel – Rich and dry, this full-bodied wine has fine textured tannins with a healthy mineral and spice kick that hits at the tip of the tongue. Chewy at the mid-palate and a balanced acidity gives this wine a solid structure that lingers into the finish.
Taste – Bold and rich blackberry, plum exotic and savory spice and dusty bramble herbs and mild oak. Notes of dark chocolate, licorice, spicy pepper and dark mineral notes adds complexity.
Finish – Lingering notes of this wine’s dark fruit, brambles and oak fade leaving behind textured tannins and mineral notes.
Conclusion – The 2007 Casa Nuesta Tinto St. Helena is a rich and approachable red blend that has great dark fruit spice and chocolate notes on both the nose and palate and solid structure that makes this wine great for pairing with food. This is a great pizza or burgers wine. Easy to drink and enjoy today and a structure that will allow you to keep this wine for up to 5-7 years in the future.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Allen Price
WINE EDUCATION: Chemistry and Physics Major, “Hands on” Winemaker training
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Started in 1969 at Charles Krug Winery and was part of the inaugeral winemaking team here at Casa Nuestra in 1979. Allen spent many years at Hess Collection, Dry Creek Vineyards and Rutherford Hill before finding his way back to Casa Nuestra as Chief Winemaker in 2002.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: “Wine is property specific: you have to know your vineyards and aim for consistency in the cellar.”
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “A watched wine never spoils.”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1969
AGENT RED: Greetings, Allen. We are thrilled to be showing your wine today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
ALLEN: “I’m reporting from the Wine Underground!”
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
ALLEN: Honestly, I was born into it.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
ALLEN: Petite Sirah and Mondouse are the two varietals that expressed the most possibilities to me.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
ALLEN: My own palate: I’m going for smooth, rich, and interesting. If I feel I’ve done that, then I’m happy.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
ALLEN: It is a complex, multi-varietal field blend. Shows Rhone features.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
ALLEN: Malfatti (a Napa term) or ravioli
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
ALLEN: The climate here is ample to ripen these varietals and the soil is good in supporting growth.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
ALLEN: Frost protection!
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
ALLEN: With a cork screw ;-) … and use a decanter
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
ALLEN: This is a unique wine – you’ll not find anything like it anywhere. Salud!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Casa Nuestra on Napa’s Silverado Trailcan be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Gold Medal – San Francisco International Wine Competition, 2009
Silver Medal – San Francisco Chronicle’s International 2010 Wine Competition
Bronze Medal – Vineyard & Winery Management’s Grand Harvest Awards, 2010
About This Wine:
This wine is made from our field mix vineyard planted in 1992. In that year we planted nine varietals on 2.3-acres, in the likeness of our Oakville stand, adding a bit more Rofosco, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Zinfandel. This vintage offers lush, ripe dark blackberries and hints of nutmeg on the palate and a wonderful nose of plum and cocoa. It has great structure as well as serious cellar potential. 480 cases produced.
“The wines of Casa Nuestra are eclectic and of special interest. We take great pride in producing small lots of old world, delicious and now somewhat obscure varietals from both our own organic vineyards (some of which date back to the 1940’s) and other small vineyards we seek out. Many of these wine styles and varietals have been lost in the commercialization of wine over the past few decades. Order a few bottles, taste and enjoy the living history.”
Salud, Stephanie Trotter-Zacharia, Apprentice Winemaker
About The Winery:
Casa Nuestra means “our house” and that is what most say it feels like here.
If you can’t come to our tasting room, winery or vineyards in person, please enjoy a virtual visit.
Here we are in a nutshell:
- Established in Napa Valley’s historic St. Helena district in 1979
- We produce our wines almost entirely from our estate’s organic vineyards.
- We specialize in wines of special interest. Visit our Wine List page for a complete list with tasting notes.
- All three buildings on our Napa Valley estate are solar powered.
- Our production is approximately 2000 cases annually including 12 different wines. All the wines are award winning and many have international acclaim.
- Our wines are sold almost exclusively though our Wine Club, tasting room and website.
About The Winemaker:
Allen Price ~ Chief Winemaker – Allen has lived in the Napa Valley since birth and began his career in Valley’s wine industry as a young man in the 1960’s at Charles Krug Winery. Today his family in St. Helena spans four generations. Allen brings with him an intimate knowledge of our wine style as well as an unmatched understanding of our unique field-blend vineyards because he was among the original consultants who engineered the creation of Casa Nuestra Winery back in 1979. Currently, Allen oversees Casa Nuestra’s annual production of 2,000 cases as well as all estate vineyards.
When you’re visiting, the chances are good you’ll see Allen. It seems he’s here 24/7! Feel free to corner him with any of your questions. We don’t know a better source of winemaking and vineyard knowledge. We’re pretty sure that he’s got red wine running through his veins!
Varietals: Field Blend
Vineyard Information: 100% St. Helena, planted on the north side of the property in 1992
Varietal Composition: The actual percentage of each contributing varietal is undetermined: Old-Clone Zinfandel, Rofosco, Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Refosco, Napa Gamay, and one additional “mystery grape.”
Harvest Information: Picked on September 27, 2007 at 26° Brix
Cooperage & Aging: Thirteen months in neutral oak barrels.
Bottled: January 29, 2009
Release date: October 2009