Tom Eddy Wines
2006 Elodian Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The Lore of the Tortoise
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit our friends at Tom Eddy Wines and secure an allocation of their esteemed Elodian Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Tom Eddy Wines
Wine Subject: 2006 Tom Elodian Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Tom Eddy
Napa Cabernet Sauvignon continues to dominate as the leader in California red wine. For good reason, too, as Napa produces some of the richest and most delicious examples on the planet. Today’s wine is a perfect blending and cross section of vineyard fruit from across Napa Valley and beyond.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deepest dark purple with garnet reflections that shine through its clear but dense core. Along the edges the color remains a dark garnet and when swirled, fast thin and evenly spaced legs ring the side of the glass.
Smell – Rich and redolent with classic Cabernet aromas lead off with ripe black cherry, blackberry and currants. A touch of exotic spice, toasted oak and sweetwoods and dark cocoa powder also make an appearance.
Feel – Rich and round, this full-bodied dry wine has firm but finely textured supple tannins that merge perfectly with a dark textured minerality and its balanced acidity.
Taste – Generous black fruit including black cherry, blackberry and dark ripe plum linger with toasted and spiced oak and other woody notes. A touch of exotic spice, hints of green herbs toasted vanilla and dark chocolate cocoa notes adds complexity without sacrificing approachability.
Finish – Long and clean with the ripe dark fruit gently fading leaving behind hints of this wine’s well structured finely textured tannins and minerality.
Conclusion – The 2006 Tom Eddy Wines Elodian Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a fantastic wine that is both food friendly and easy to enjoy on its own. The amble nose invites you in; the finely textured tannins and mouth-feel grasps the fruit, wood and spice perfectly; and the lingering finish begs for another sip, until you’ve realized that you’ve quickly polished off the entire bottle. We paired this wine with grilled New York Strip steaks and a roaring fire.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Tom Eddy
WINE EDUCATION: UC Davis, BS Fermentation Science (Enology) 1974
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Wow, it’s hard to be brief about a 35 year career but I’d include my early work with Inglenook & Souverain, but there are many, many Napa Valley wineries and consulting clients that I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Wines are like a piece of art, to be appreciated and savored but also to be enjoyed just like food. I make primarily hillside Napa Valley Cabernet that is hand-crafted (an often overused term), structured, rich in flavor and aroma yet complex and elegant. My wines can age and improve.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Take back the Cab”: this means making Mountain Cabs with old-style elegance, but with new world understanding”.
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: (DATE) Under our own Tom Eddy label, 1993 from the 1991 vintage.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Tom. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Elodian Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
TOM EDDY: Glad to.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
TOM: Realizing that I could make wine and then drink what I made!!!!! I guess this was during college.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
TOM: Lee Stewart. Lee heralded from the ‘60s and was one of the greatest winemakers ever in California.. He was a mentor for many winemakers that have now passed on and some like me, who are still around.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
TOM: I guess I’d have to say for myself of course, but also for wine aficionados who understand fine mountain Cab Sauvignon.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
TOM: The Elodian Napa Cab is primarily mountain-grown Cabernet from several famous vineyards in the valley, including Stagecoach (Atlas Peak) and Bella Vista (Diamond Mountain watershed). The flavors are more concentrated, yet show balance and elegance with the flavor and finish. With mostly French oak barrel aging and extended bottle age, the wine exhibits complexity from blending many different mountain locations and soil types.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
TOM: Most any meat which is savory and/or grilled. The big Cabs can hold up to rich sauces and they also do well with Chocolate desserts.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
TOM: Soil and climate. Period. With many different volcanic soil types shouldering good drainage and with cool nights due to the Bay Area Mediterranean influence, we have unparalleled terroir of any where in the world.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
TOM: Everything from soup to nuts! Blending, bottling, topping, racking, rolling barrels, and selling wine too!
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
TOM: Buy 6 bottles and drink one every 6 months for three years and watch the wines emerge and grow on you. Or if you can’t stand the wait, drink the whole case in the first month and re-order. Hahaha.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
TOM: Elodian is actually a sea turtle and is gracing our label because it represents the story behind my wife’s ancestors’ voyage to California during the gold rush. They came for the gold, but stayed on for the grapes! Kerry and I got together in the wine business almost 30 years ago because that Elodian sea turtle led her into a life of wine!!
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 approximate location of Tom Eddy Wines in Calistoga can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
The 2006 Elodian Cabernet Sauvignon is infused with aromas and flavors of black cherry and plum that elegantly commingle with subtle clove and nutmeg. The mouthfeel is rich and full with sturdy but velvety tannin. The acid is lean and balanced making this a great, food-friendly wine, perfectly paired with a big juicy steak or pasta with marinara. A large dollop oak adds a layer of vanilla and toast making the wine vibrant and complex. Three different types of oak stemming from France, America and Hungary bring into balance the unique qualities these three oak-producing regions have to offer. This wine is ready to drink now but with great potential to age for decades to come. Cheers!
Like it’s big brother, the Tom Eddy Cab, The Elodian Cabernet is made from all Napa Valley grapes. Our annual case production ranges between 400 and 1600 cases, depending upon the year. This wine is made to be easily approachable, its fruity components seeing some French oak but more Hungarian and American oak that renders it rich and lively. A minimum 12 months of barrel age and a year in the bottle puts the Elodian Cab on the market later than most wines of this caliber, a bonus for the buyer. Consistently a gold medal winner, this Elodian Cab has definite appeal.
Elodian (E* lo"di* an, n.) One of a tribe of tortoises, including the terrapins, etc., in which the head and neck can be withdrawn. There’s an old family story about Kerry’s pioneer forebears who sailed from Nova Scotia and around the ‘Horn’ in 1849 headed for the California gold rush. During their arduous journey, they were forced to take on sea turtles to stay alive until they arrived in San Francisco at which time their attempts to sell their ship’s cargo proved fairly futile, except for the Elodians, which “sold like hotcakes”! When creating our second label we wanted to commemorate this family epic and so the Elodian label was born. And the Elodians still swim on the bottle today. Can you find them? (Psst…there are more than 10, Tom.)
Harvest Notes: Copious amounts of rain throughout the winter and early spring ensured that the 2006 vines
would be vigorous in growth and at least average in yield. Both heat spikes and conversely cool temperatures in the summer slowed the physiology of the vines down causing a late harvest for most of the Napa Valley. Due to naturally cooler temperatures in the Napa mountains, the Cabernets from these regions weathered the tough summer heat. Coupled with careful fruit thinning and meticulous vineyard management, the 2006 harvest for Napa mountain fruit turned out to be surprisingly first-rate and is considered one of the most powerful vintages of the decade.
About The Winery:
Success in handcrafting wines can only come from using the finest grapes and the best techniques in the artful hands of a skilled winemaker. There are no shortcuts. And when your name is on every bottle, every bottle is your baby. It’s no wonder that quality and attention to detail are our mantras, from the vineyard to the barrel right down to the hand-applied label on the bottle.
Producing less than 1500 cases annually of hillside Cabernet Sauvignon, we strive for elegance, structure and balance to create wines that are approachable now but beg for cellaring. Aging our Cabs two years in French oak plus an additional year in the bottle we believe is an integral part of what makes beautiful wines that are classically balanced and delicious with food.
Making wine has been, and always will be, our passion, our work and our play. But as we dedicate ourselves to quality in our wines, we are acutely cognizant that it’s also about the journey: relationships created, wines shared, concern for our community and the environment; sprinkled with lots of laughter. Our goal is a life well lived, with honesty, humility and integrity, all of which we hope translates into our wine.
About The Eddy Family:
Tom completed his enology degree at UC Davis, the Class of ’74, a group of winemakers often credited for the meteoric rise in the quality of wine in California in the last 30 years. Before starting the family wine company in 1989, Tom had been winemaker for some of the largest and smallest wineries in California. A published author and recognized winery expert, Tom’s personal stamp of winemaking and winery construction has influenced much of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, with a broad consulting client base extending from California to Texas and from Washington State to South America. As the winemaker and owner of Tom Eddy Wines, Tom’s passion and dedication to excellence in our wine is ongoing. As it should be: his name is on the bottle!
Kerry, also a UC Davis grad, traveled a different route, starting in 1979 honing her skills in the wine wholesale and retail business. Considered the first woman sommelier in the early 1980’s in Honolulu, Kerry eventually went to work for M. Shanken Communications, publisher of lifestyle magazines including The Wine Spectator, in both their New York and San Francisco offices. While often found working on Tom Eddy website updates and joining in the wine tastings, you may also find Kerry sculpting in her studio, canning olives, or working in the family’s sustainable garden.
Varietals: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
Vineyards: Stagecoach Ranch-Atlas Peak; Bella Vista Vineyard-Diamond Mountain District; Robbins Vineyard-St. Helena; Carpenter Ranch-St. Helena; Easton Vineyard-Sierra Foothills