2018 Rancho Chimiles Napa Valley Valdiguié
Valdiguié •Rancho Chimiles
California: Napa Valley
Getting’ Diggy With It
You might think you’re hip. But do you have any Valdiguie in your stash?
If you said “NO” we need to fix that. Do you like Pinot, Zin, or strawberry aqua frescas? It’s like the adult version of Soarin’ Strawberry Kool-Aid – and the perfectly refreshing red for warm summer day. In the 93-point review Wine Enthusiast called it a “standout…beautifully complex, beguiling” and now it’s more enticing with a healthy 40% discount!
Time to geek out on this amazing varietal…
For a long time, everyone assumed Valdiguié was just Gamay. DNA testing revealed Gamay was NOT the father! Instead they traced the lineage to a much heartier, fascinating variety from Southern France.
Like the 2017, a bright hibiscus glow wraps the lurid ruby core. Red cherries mingle with stone fruits and an intriguing guava note in the back with hints of watermelon, fresh basil, and mint on top. Sip one, and it’s refreshing and bursting with fruit, like a slush of raspberries, strawberries, and peaches. The mildest of tannins and a floral-spice edge kick in on the juicy finish… we oblige you to give this a chill as it really blooms so. As the Wilsons and the Foreigners say, there really is not much under the sun that would not benefit wit being consumed with a liquid SO yummy!
Wilson Foreigner is a genuine collaboration between two dynamic families. The Californian side brings the young talent of David Wilson, owner of Rancho Chimiles, and a protégé of Napa Valley forefather Warren Winiarski of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars fame. His day job is Director of Vineyards & Grower Relations for Pahlmeyer. He also oversees his family vineyards, supplying top-notch fruit to Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Pahlmeyer, Favia and The Prisoner Wine Company. The Foreigners, on the other hand, honed their winemaking hands in Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Germany, and Australia, before starting their own in their Western Cape homeland.
Rochioli, Pax and Girard are some of the other handful of ‘cool guys’ who work with this fascinating variety. A recent Wine Enthusiast article introduced Wilson Foreigner with; “Meet Six Producers Redefining Napa Valley Red Wine - not a place that sits still. Amid the decades-old, world-renowned wineries sprout signs of new beginnings. Sometimes, the new blood is younger-generation Napa, while other times, innovation is sparked by an outsider with a new take on things. These six wineries are some of our under-the-radar favorites.”
Decanter too is a fan, raving about the last vintage “The historical Rancho Chimiles vineyards that gave birth to this shining Valdiguié are located in the eastern part of Napa Valley. A few decades old, the plantings are fully mature and tell a story of this expressive grape. This wine is produced with 30% whole-cluster fruit and wild yeasts, with minimal intervention. The result is vibrant and fun…”
A testament to classicism but with a modern sensibility and a massive pop of ‘candied apple’ fruit on top, there is no getting enough of this lower alcohol, optimally drinkable deliciousness, especially served chilled a bit over the Spring and Summer, so pile up since there wasn’t a lot made. Think about it, what other red can you buy from Napa Valley with accolades for 25 bucks?!
If something radically DIFFERENT is your thing, this is YOUR one irresistible red.
Not much made to begin with, so jump on it.
93 Points – Wine Enthusiast
“Second-generation grape farmer Dave Wilson and his wife, Christine, who grew up among the vines of the Sierra Foothills, make fresh, fun wines from vineyards across the state. Most important is Rancho Chimiles, their vast ranch in Wooden Valley. The standout is the winery’s Valdiguié, sourced from homegrown vines planted in 1972 by Dave’s dad. This is a tiny-production estate-grown wine. This is a beautifully complex, beguiling and lifted red wine, tasting of plum and dark cherry dappled in white pepper and dried herb. Fermented in concrete tank and aged in neutral oak, the grapes are grown on the ranch owned and farmed by the Wilson family in the far reaches of the eastern Napa Valley.”
Like the 2017, a bright hibiscus glow wraps the lurid ruby core
Red cherries mingle with stone fruits and an intriguing guava note in the back with hints of watermelon, fresh basil, and mint on top
Refreshing and bursting with fruit at sip one, like a slush of raspberries, strawberries, and peaches
Mildest of tannins and a floral-spice edge kick in on the juicy finish, we oblige you to give this a chill as it really blooms so
As they say, there really is not much under the sun that would not benefit wit being consumed with a liquid SO yummy
What the Winery Says
- David & Christine Wilson, Chris & Suzaan Alheit
- 100% Valdiguié
- Napa Valley
- Rancho Chimiles
- Vine age
- Planted in 1972
- Pleasanton loam, marine sediments, sandstone
- Harvest date
- September 22nd, 2018
- 30% whole cluster
- Residual Sugar
- 0 g/L
- Bottling date
- July 29, 2019
- 10 months
- 100% neutral French oak
- 9 barrels