Ehret Family Winery

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon •Bavarian Lion Vineyards

California: Sonoma County: Knights Valley

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Mission Codename: A Family Affair

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Revisit our friends at Ehret Family Winery and acquire their delicious 2006 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Ehret Family Winery

Wine Subject: 2006 Sonoma County Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker: Nick Goldschmidt


The Ehret Family Winery produces small, specialty lot’s of handcrafted wines from their renowned Bavarian Lion vineyard. 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.

Regional Backgrounder:

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 – Almost black, this densely purple wine has a dark barely clear core that shows burgundy hues when held to the light. Along the edges, the color becomes a dark purple and burgundy and when swirled, thin and widely spaced colored legs speed down and leave slower fat legs that hang on the edge of the glass.

Smell – Rich aromas of dark fruit including blackberry, black-cherry and black currant are layered over complex notes of cigar box and tobacco, meaty leather, hot spice and herbal hints.

Feel – Smooth and dry, this full-bodied red has firm tannins, bright acidity and dark minerality that blends with this wine’s spice providing a great structure and texture.

Taste – Old world in character with this wine’s dark fruit (blackberry, black currant, plum and black cherry) being balanced with complex spice, tobacco, oak and herbal notes.

Finish – Clean and medium in length with the dark and spiced fruit fading first leaving behind this wine’s other complex flavors that are supported by its textured structure.

Conclusion – The 2006 Ehret Family Winery Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is is delicious wine that shows quite a bit of complexity and the Terroir character of the vineyard. While the fruit is there, its not overly forward with the other flavors and aromas shining through.

Mission Report:


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:

Gold Medal2009 Sonoma County Harvest Fair Wine Competition

About This Wine:

The 2006 season was warm and maturity came on at a good pace, the harvest for the 06 vintage was early October. This sultry wine presents aromas of ripe black currants and the classic fragrant character of leather and tobacco. It is full and lively on the palate, with firm, fine-grained vanilla tannins on the finish.

Vineyard Notes: Ehret Family’s Bavarian Lion Vineyards have been in the family since the mid 1990’s and showcase the best Knights Valley has to offer. The Knight’s Valley AVA is protected from the marine influence of the Pacific Ocean, making it the warmest AVA in Sonoma County. The vineyards on the estate range from 400-800 feet in elevation and are located just north of Calistoga and east of Alexander Valley, on the foothills of Mount St. Helena. The unique topography and soil content make this a most desirable area to grow Bordeaux grapes. The soil consists of well drained, very gravelly and sandy loams formed from mixed sedimentary and basic rock.

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.

Technical Analysis:

Appellation: Knight’s Valley, Sonoma County, California

Vineyard: Bavarian Lion Vineyards, Block 99B

Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Production: 1,000 cases

Alcohol: 14.5% by volume

pH: 3.6

TA: 0.58 g/100 ml

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