Ehret Family Winery
2005 'The Beginning' Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Bavarian Lion Vineyards, Block 99B
California: Sonoma County: Knights Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Simply Delicious! That pretty much sums up today’s wine. The 2005 vintage in California was exceptional for Cabernet Sauvignon and this wine is fully representative of this great vintage.
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Mission Codename: Great Expectations
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a limited allocation of Ehret’s first Cabernet Release, ‘The Beginning’.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Ehret Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 ‘The Beginning’ Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Nick Goldschmidt
The Ehret Family Winery produces small, specialty lots of handcrafted wines from the renowned Bavarian Lion Vineyards. The vineyard is also a prized source of fruit for a very select group of wineries that also make award-winning wines from the extraordinary fruit grown there.
Sonoma County’s Knight’s Valley sits at the easternmost edge of the County, far from the cooling of the Pacific Ocean. The fact that this high benchland AVA (American Viticultural Area) gets so much hot sun during the growing season makes it the perfect region for growing richly extracted Bordeaux varietals.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dense and dark purple, thick with color and almost black through its inky core. As the color reaches the edge of the glass, hints of garnet and violet barely shine through. When swirled even and tightly spaced medium-thin legs of varying speeds descend to the wine below.
Smell – Medium in intensity and very approachable, this wine leads off with classic and earthy Cabernet aromas that include tons of rich and ripe black and red fruit. Complex layers of dark cocoa, toasted vanilla oak, sweet tobacco and subtle herbal and spice notes round out and beg for a sip.
Feel – Soft and plush in the initial attack, this velvet smooth wine has well developed and integrated tannins. Soft but balanced acidity and dark minerals glide over the palate of this expansive wine.
Taste – Plush and rich with flavors of soft and ripe black and red berries, red currant and cherry. Hints of chocolate cocoa, savory herbs, sweet spice, sweet cigar tobacco and black olive rounds out the lovely flavor profile of this wine.
Finish – Medium-long in length with this wine’s fruit and other complex flavors fading gently and slowly in unison with the soft tannins and balanced acidity.
Conclusion – The 2005 Ehret Family Winery ‘The Beginning’ Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is soft and elegant with layers of well integrated complexity. Truly representative of the Cabernet from the very highly regarded 2005 vintage, this wine is drinking perfectly right now and will instantly appeal to those who like there Cabernet to show finesse as opposed to kicking you in the mouth.
Below is a recap of our original briefing when we featured Ehret’s Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Nick Goldschmidt
DATE OF BIRTH: April, 1962
WINEMAKER BIO: Born and educated in New Zealand, Nick Goldschmidt’s career began in 1982 with a research position at the New Zealand Lincoln University where he graduated with Distinction in Horticulture. Nick went on to specialize in viticulture studies at Wagga Wagga, and oenology at the highly acclaimed Roseworthy program, at Adelaide University in South Australia. During his time as a student Nick worked at noted wineries such as Kumeu River, Coopers Creek and Babich. In 1989, after 18 months of winemaking in Australia, New Zealand, California, and South America; including his first harvest in Chile as winemaker for Calitera, Nick returned to California with an amazing range of winemaking experiences.
In 1990, Nick and his wife Yolyn settled down in Healdsburg, California, as Simi’s Associate Winemaker. Nick was promoted to Chief Winemaker 1991 and became Vice President and Chief Winemaker in 1996. Nick spent a total of 13 years at Simi and was one of the driving forces that brought the Simi Reserve Cabernet program to notoriety. In May of 2003 Nick accepted the position of Executive Vice President and Winemaker at Allied Domecq Wines USA. During recent acquisitions Nick has been named Vice President and Executive
Domestic Winemaker for Beam Estates wine portfolio – As winemaker for Beam estates, Nick oversees the production of Clos Du Bois, Buena Vista, Haywood, Garcia, Atlas Peak, William Hill, Gary Farrell and Jakes Fault. In the global arena his work takes him to Mexico, Spain, Argentina and New Zealand where he is involved with blends being imported into the domestic market as well as several domestic brands that are being exported into other global markets.
In 1998 Nick and Yolyn Goldschmidt, established their own line of wines with the release of Goldschmidt Vineyards. The goal of the company was to produce two distinct brands of fine wines, Forefathers and Goldschmidt Vineyards; with the idea of focusing on site specific winemaking from great vineyard sites from around the world. Having produced so many world class wines from around the globe, Nick knew exactly which vineyard sites he would choose to make his wines from.
Under the Forefathers brand Nick and Yolyn produce a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, an Australian Shiraz, and a California Cabernet Sauvignon. For the Goldschmidt Vineyard brand they have created two distinct Cabernet Sauvignons, one from Alexander Valley in Sonoma and the other from Oakville in Napa Valley. The wines Nick and Yolyn Goldschmidt produce are all single vineyard, 100% varietal, handcrafted, small production artisan wines.
Currently, Nick makes wines for Ehret Family Wine. Today’s 2006 Hillside Reserve Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a 93 Points and Editor’s Choice from Wine Enthusiast, is crafted by Nick from the winery’s world-famous Bavarian Lion vineyard in the Knight’s Valley at the Northern end of the Napa Valley, in Sonoma County.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The vineyards in Knights Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
90 Points – Wine Enthusiast – Knights Valley, an inland Sonoma County region, is not well known, but is home to some impressive Cabernets. This one, a first release, shows enormous promise. It’s made in the modern style, slightly soft but richly textured, with ripe currant, cherry, chocolate and new oak flavors that are grounded with an earthy note of olives and herbs. This is a winery to keep an eye on.
About This Wine:
The taste of this wine has benefitted greatly from the origin of, and agricultural practices used in the vineyard. It is currently dark in color displaying a fruit with rich, distinctive flavors and intense aromas. The mouth feel is soft, with tannins that are not overpowering, and silky with a long-lasting finish. This wine will age beautifully and will continue to thrive in the bottle for the next 10 years.
Technical Notes: This Cabernet Sauvignon grape was harvested in late October of 2005 at an average Brix of 24.5°. During fermentation skin contact lasted for about 21 days. The wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels (70% new oak) with medium toast for 20 months. The wine was bottled on August 15, 2007, and all bottles were individually numbered. The wine was bottled un-fined and unfiltered.
About This Winery:
Ehret Family Winery is the creation of husband and wife team, Pierre Ehret and Susan Robertson. The winery, based in Calistoga at the northern end of famed Napa Valley, hand crafts small lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, and a red Meritage blend from the winery’s estate Bavarian Lion Vineyard, located in the esteemed Knight’s Valley, just north of Napa Valley, in Sonoma County.
Pierre Ehret is the owner of Sonoma County’s renowned Flamingo Resort Hotel and Conference Center in Santa Rosa, California. Between his ownership of the hotel and his upbringing in Germany, Pierre developed an appreciation and understanding of fine wines, both domestic and European. That appreciation led to establishing the Bavarian Lion Vineyard in Napa Valley.
A Family Affair: Ehret Family Winery is more than just Pierre and Susan – the winery exists for the next generation, their children Alex, Christian, and Isabelle. The Ehret Family is dedicated to creating wines of quality and distinction that will build the winery a reputation for outstanding wines year after year.
A Star Winemaker: To create those outstanding wines, the Ehret Family hired Nick Goldschmidt of Goldschmidt Vineyards, Forefathers Wines, and the excellent wines in the portfolio of Beam Wine Estates (now Constellation Brands’ Vintas BWE). Born and trained in New Zealand, Nick has international winemaking experience from California to Argentina, and from Australia to Europe.
Appellation: Knight’s Valley, Sonoma County, California
Vineyard: Bavarian Lion Vineyards, Block 99B
Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Production: 977 cases
Alcohol: 14.42% by volume
TA: 0.598 g/100 ml