2006 Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine
California: Napa Valley
What we say
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Mission Codename: Prophetic Powers
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red to Ma(i)sonry in downtown Yountville, in the Napa Valley, to procure an allocation of their highly sought-after Proprietary Red Wine.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Ma(i)sonry
Wine Subject: 2006 Ma(i)sonry Proprietary Red Wine – Napa Vallley
Winemaker: Aaron Pott
Backgrounder: Today’s wine is sourced from some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious vineyards. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc hail from the Pritchard Hill region, and the Merlot is sourced from the Blackbird vineyard, located in the Oak Knoll district. Fabled winemaker, Aaron Pott, combines his considerable skills with this exceptional fruit to bring us today’s prized Napa Valley Red from Ma(i)sonry. Read Agent Red’s full review, followed by his interview with Aaron Pott, below.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Darkest ruby with a darker heart, this wine maintains perfect concentration of color, right out to the edges of the glass. When swirled, the wine shows off a heavy surface that settles quickly. Skinny, wine-stained tears move slowly down the glass after the wine comes to rest.
Smell – A warm rush of dark raspberry, wild strawberry and spiced blackberry rush up to meet you. These beautiful fruits are followed by cassis, black cherry, soft cedar and gentle dark spice.
Feel – Cool and light on entry. Then, as fine tannins are revealed, a soft dryness spreads its way around the entire palate, beginning at the center and spreading to the lips and cheeks, where a soft mineral spice lingers.
Taste – Fine flavors of blackberry, black cherry, spiced red currant and dried cranberry take the lead. These sit gently atop chalky dark chocolate powder, soft black pepper and subtle dried fall leaves.
Finish – Smooth and long, leading with dark fruit, soft smokey cedar, subtle black pepper, dry forest floor and flinty minerals.
Conclusion – This is the perfect Fall wine! Made with exceptional fruit – and with exceptional care – this wine is a beautifully balanced delight that is a sheer delight to drink. Enjoy this elegant wine with your favorite fall dining, like a hearty stew, baked root vegetables with fresh rosemary, or pork chops. Decant this exceptional wine for optimum results, and experience greater depth of flavor and a more complex feel.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Aaron Pott
WINE EDUCATION: Studied oenology at the University of California, Davis, Pott delved into all aspects of the theory of
winemaking, including practical application by working part-time in the research laboratory at Robert
Mondavi Winery. He completed his education with a master’s degree in Viticulture from the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France.
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Newton Vineyards, Blackbird Vineyards, Stagecoach Vineyard, Seven Stones, Fisher Vineyards and Quixote.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: I practice viticulture because the vine is the ultimate teacher, no matter how long you have been at it. Vines respond to the slightest interaction; a leaf removal here, a shoot positioning there. In every case they show you, often with humor, how wrong or right you were! Vines give you back the effort you put in, which is a rarity in life and utterly satisfying.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Aaron. We are thrilled to be showing your wine today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
AARON POTT: Thank you!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
AARON: My curiosity in wine began at the young age of 9 when I ordered a glass of milk in a venerable Parisian bistro. When the waiter responded—in halting perfect English—that “milk is for babies” and promptly produced a glass of watered down red, I realized that wine was a beverage of choice for adults and immersed himself in the world of wine trivia.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
AARON: Winemaker John Kongsgaard. It was at Newton—under the wing of my first great mentor—that I would be introduced to
Michel Rolland. At many tastings with Kongsgaard and Rolland (set up by legendary wine collector Dade Thieriot), I tried to convince Rolland to find me a job in France—pulling hoses around a dark cellar and working on my language skills. Rolland soon sent word that he had found the ideal position—winemaker at Château Troplong Mondot, Premier Grand Cru Classé St. Emilion. I would thereafter become winemaker and general manager of Château La Tour Figeac Grand Cru Classé St. Emilion.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
AARON: I make wine because I need the intellectual challenge and the satisfaction of crafting something beautiful for those that will appreciate it. I look forward to those foggy, pre-harvest mornings when you taste the grapes and begin to imagine what they will do in the glass.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
AARON: The Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc varietals in this wine emerge from the Pritchard Hill region in Napa
Valley. The Merlot is sourced from the Blackbird Vineyard, located in the Oak Knoll district of Napa Valley. This region offers a perfect convergence of growing conditions and produces exceptional fruit coveted for its bright character and elegant charm.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
AARON: Good friends…
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
AARON: I have made wines from all over Napa Valley and I relish the freedom to choose exactly the vineyards and blocks I want, and to dictate their management. There are many fascinating terroirs in Napa, and even more fascinating owner-characters! This Wine is the best way I can think of to share with you the Napa I know and love.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
AARON: Harvest 2010. It is a bit delayed and will be quite compacted, but the resulting wines will be stunning.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
AARON: With great patience and care…
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:
What the winery says
About The Wine:
The 2006 Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine reveals luscious aromas of wild raspberries, black cherry, cassis, and smokey cedar. Crafted by Blackbird Vineyards’ winemaking team, this small lot, limited-production wine is as richly textured as each of Ma(i)sonry’s timeless art and design collections.
On the palate, jammy fruit flavors blend with cocoa and forest floor notes. This multi-layered wine provides great texture and volume, displaying tight grained tannins and medium-long finish.
Vineyard Notes: The Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc varietals in this wine emerge from the Pritchard Hill region in Napa Valley. The Merlot is sources from the Blackbird vineyard, located in the Oak Knoll district of Napa Valley. This region offers a perfect convergence of growing conditions and produces exceptional fruit coveted for its bright character and elegant charm.
Other Notes: As a tribute to the artisans that grace Ma(i)sonry’s tapestry, the medallion emblem represents the union of the mason’s trowel (artists) and grape vines (winemakers) under one roof. At Ma(i)sonry, art and wine, at their simplest, are to be appreciated.
About The Winery:
Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley offers a unique lifestyle experience in wine country. Originally built in 1904 as a private residence, the manor is one of three stone buildings in Yountville, and one of only two listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Setting: The setting is reminiscent of a home or a private club, framing a highly edited collection of furnishings and artwork. The furnishings, ranging from 16th century to mid-twentieth century, are paired with contemporary works crafted by today’s top designers. The collections of art on display include Napa Valley favorites, the best in the Bay Area as well as some of the most respected names worldwide, all of which will be available for purchase.
Ma(i)sonry is an ideal partner and intimate backdrop for private events including those hosted by comparable luxury brands – including fashion, lifestyle media, jewelry, private aviation, restaurants and resorts, among others.
This “living gallery” atmosphere serves as a stylized backdrop for the appreciation of limited production boutique wines – including Blackbird Vineyards’ portfolio of Pomerol-inspired blends. Clients have a variety of choices for their wine tasting setting. They can enjoy the intimacy of one of our three private tasting rooms, lounge in either of the great rooms, or gather outdoors at individual and communal tables, around the fire pit, or while stretched out on a blanket on the lawn. The outdoor gardens are beautifully landscaped around architectural remnants and contemporary sculpture and are available for our clients to relax and enjoy a bite or a bottle of wine on their own before or after their tasting.
Wine Type: Red Wine