2005 Bodog Red
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: From Hungary to Hickory Grove
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit Spelletich Cellars and acquire their delicious Napa Valley Bodog Red Wine
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Spelletich Cellars
Wine Subject: 2005 Napa Valley Bodog Red
Winemaker: Barbara Spelletich
Napa Valley is revered worldwide as the ultimate area in which to produce the Bordeaux and other varietals and the 2005 vintage, in particular, has produced some of the best examples on record.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dense and dark purple with ruby steaks that barely shine through its almost inky heart. Along the edges the color remains deep and when swirled clusters of medium thick legs appear on the side of the glass and show hints of this wine’s color.
Smell – Rich and redolent with lively aromas of ripe blackberry, wild raspberry and other red and black fruit are layered over a base of subtly complex exotic spice, bramble herbs, white pepper, toasted oak and earthy notes.
Feel – This dry and full-bodied wine is expansive and generous with etched tannins that soften as this wine opens. Textured minerality and vibrant acidity contribute to a chewy mouth feel.
Taste – Fruit forward in character with blackberry, sweet raspberry and plum meld with toasted oak, meaty spice and white pepper notes. The spice and minerality hit on the tip of the tongue and linger into the finish.
Finish – Medium long in length with the ripe and rich fruit and chewy texture reaching the far corners of the palate with its spice, pepper and bramble herbs and earth also making an appearance and begging another gulp.
Conclusion – The 2005 Spelletich Cellars Napa Valley Bodog Red is a fun and rich fruit forward wine that will find itself totally at home with anything you throw on the grill. Rich and warm, this is almost a perfect burger and football wine that can be enjoyed in big swigs. Pop the synthetic cork, give it a few minutes to breathe and get ready for a good time.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Barbara Spelletich
WINE EDUCATION: UC Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Cork & Bottle, Seattle Washington, Retail Store Manager. Taught Wine Classes, wine tasting and cheese; St. Michelle, Woodinville, Washington, Retail Sales Manager, Public Events, Tasting Room
Zephyr Imports, Owner; Imported wines from Italy, France, Germany, Spain & Portugal; Whitwhams, Responsible for US sales. We were negociants for Cru Classe Bordeaux, Ports & Burgundies. Offices in Manchester England & Cenon, Bordeaux; St. Clement, St. Helena, CA National Sales Manager; Spelletich Cellars, Owner & Winemaker
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: As natural as possible.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: ” I do want to manipulate wine. I want to harvest when ripe, ferment cool to capture the fruit essence and age until the wine is ready to be bottled. The most important feature of my wine is that it smell and taste of the grapes it was made from. Simple.”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Bodog Red 1993, Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 & Chardonnay 1994. All Napa Valley.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Barbara. We are thrilled to be showing your 2005 Bodog today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
BARBARA: Thanks, Red. It is our pleasure to share our signature blend with your Operatives, today! Nice trick, by the way, on scoring the exclusive on our 2005 Bodog!!
RED: Thanks, Barbara! Tell me, was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
BARBARA: Love of wine started when I took a business trip with my sister, Sallie, to California when I was 18 years old. We went to the Monterey Jazz Festival and I had to spend 4 hours by myself in Carmel while my sister met with some clients. I spent the entire time in a retail wine shop. After this trip I had a case of wine sent to me in Seattle every two months. The owner of the shop was educating me from afar.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
BARBARA: While I was importing wine from Europe, I met many different wine makers, but Angelo Gaja influenced me the most." Never compromise! Pick your grapes ripe, not under or over ripe. Take time to let the wine develop. Make your own style and do not pay attention to what others are doing. You only have your own grapes to worry about."
RED: Who do you make wine for?
BARBARA: I make wine for Food! It is my style, but my husband Timothy tastes and critiques as well as my daughter Kristen. Both have different palates than mine and if you were in my lab when I am blending I would make you taste as well. I watch faces as they taste. I also require notes from whomever is tasting. Then I will look at all the notes and do a tweek to the wine or start over.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
BARBARA: This wine is all about our Great, Great, Great Grandfather, Bodog Spelletich. He was a freedom fighter, a civil rights promoter, an attorney and a member of Parliament in Budapest, Hungary. This wine is my freedom wine. I choose to change the blend every year and recreate this sumptuous wine with different nuances. The 2005 bodog is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon from two vineyards, 20% Merlot, 22% Old Vine Zinfandel & 3% Syrah.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
BARBARA: Dirty Rice & Black Beans, Pork Shoulder Butt End rotisserie style with a dry rub of Masala spices. Ribs too. Porky day tastes go best. But a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting is a good end.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley region so special?
BARBARA: The Napa Valley affords me a huge diversity of elevations, soils, clones. The two Cabernet Sauvignons I used in the 2005 Bodog Red are totally different locations and clones, soils are different and growing styles are different. The Zinfandel was planted in 1929. It is awesome. The Merlot is from Carneros and the Syrah is from Oak Knoll. Each and everyone of my vineyards is unique.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
WINEMAKER: Right now I am pressing off some Cabernet Sauvignon. We are still bringing in grapes, still fermenting. Some lots are barreled down and put away for a while.
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 vineyard where this wine was born is classified, but you can see Amador County in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
What is a Bodog? (Multiple Choice)
A) Courageous Hungarian Hunk
B) Freedom Fighter
C) Engaging Red Blend who loves garlic
D) Black Lab offering unconditional love
E) All of the above
Yes, he is intense but don’t worry, he does not bite.
Dense ruby/purple in color with aromatic red, black and blue fruits leaping out of the glass. This multi-dimensional wine opens to plump blackberry on the layered palate, added complexity is provided by black licorice, clove, anise, pepper, cinnamon and cocoa with hints of roasted coffee and smoky earthy nuances on the lush extended finish. This shapely beauty is yummy, warm & cuddly.
Named after our great times eight grandfather who was a ‘freedom fighter’, civil rights lawyer and member of parliament in Hungary. Bodog emigrated to the United States with his family to escape the Monarchists death sentence in 1849. The current Spelletich coat of arms is dedicated to this courageous and independent young man.
About The Winery:
Spelletich Family Winery started with the 1994 harvest in Napa Valley. The first wines were Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Bodog Red. With minimal intervention, they rely upon their secret weapon: Barb’s palate. Focusing on three basic, yet critical principles: when to harvest, when to press and when to pull off the oak to pursue something larger and more elusive than your ordinary wines. Their approach is to produce wines of integrity; that are rich, ripe and refreshing. Barbs focus is the fruit. She wants you to be able to taste real fruit flavors and smell the incredible nose of her wines. This winery is truly only family owned and operated. Husband & wife team Timothy and Barb Spelletich and their daughter Kristen.
Barb was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She stared her career in the wine industry as the manager of The Cork & Bottle. She worked for Ste. Michelle Winery, G. Raden & Sons, and then established her own distributorship, Zephyr Imports. This began her international travels and relationships with the finest wineries in the world. She spent every spring traveling to Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. The purpose was to visit each producer to choose the wines to be exported to the United States. These producers became friends and taught Barb much about wine making. Mainly the importance of ripe fruit and the gentle way to preserve that fruit flavor. Her next step was Whitwhams Fine and Rare Wines, based in Manchester, England and Bordeaux. Life as a negociant enhanced her contact with winemakers of all Cru Classe. She futher enhanced her winemaking skills with courses at UC Davis. Barb arrived in Napa Valley in 1992 and started working for St. Clement Vineyards in St. Helena.
Timothy grew up half way across the country in Davenport, Iowa. After graduating with a degree in business from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he had an opportunity to work in Italy. He worked at the Locanda Del Sant’Uffizio, a small country inn and restaurant located in a town outside of Asti. At this former monastery he experienced an old fashioned way of life. Each prix fixe meal was prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients available on the property and nearby villages. The exposure to herbs, fruits and vegetables harvested at their peak of ripeness, creating menus, plus pairing the food with wine introduced Timothy to flavors and sensory evalationsthat changed his life forever. This small exclusive inn also made their own wine from estate grapes. He then returned to the United States to work for The Pierre Hotel in New York City and The Four Seasons in Philadelphia. Timothy arrived in Napa Valley spring of 1993 and started working for Tra Vigne Restaurant in St. Helena as manager and wine buyer.
After 11 years of business, Barb & Timothy were able to hire their daughter Kristen. Born in Seattle, Washington, she grew up in St. Helena. Kristen spent 10 years working in the wine and hospitality industry before she was ready to tackle her own family business. While attending college in Napa for Psychology, she had an opportunity to work at The French Laundry and realized that she needed to start thinking more seriously about the industry that had been part of her life since birth. She continued learning through sales and relationship marketing at The Culinary Insitute, Viansa, Sterling Vineyards and Mumm Napa. Her main focus now is to build Spelletich Cellars to fit the 21st century market.
Timothy and Barb’s individual experiences in Europe, interests in wine, food, cooking and entrepreneurial drive generate an awesome team of artistry and hard work. The combination of wine industry preparation and lifelong passion is what united them in the heart of Napa Valley to launch Spelletich Cellars Winery.
Now with the second generation on board and a strong outlook on the future, we share our passion and remind you that life is to be enjoyed with food, family & friends!
Varietals: 55 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Zinfandel, 20% Merlot & 3% Syrah
Region: Napa Valley
Aged: 21 Months in French, American and Hungarian oak