Ehret Family Winery

2007 Bella's Blend

Red Blend •Bavarian Lion Vineyards

California: Sonoma County: Knights Valley

Offer Expired:May 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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Mission Codename: The Bavarian

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Last year, The Wine Spies infiltrated Ehret – and were able to secure a small allocation of their superb 2006 Bella’s Blend. he wine was wildly popular with our Operatives, and we ran out before the day had concluded. Send Agent Red back to Ehret, to be the first to procure their 2007 Bella’s. Secure an ample allotment, this time around.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Ehret Family Winery

Wine Subject: 2007 Bella’s Blend – Red Wine – Knights Valley, Napa

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 – Dark garnet, with a darkening core of garnet. At the edge of the glass, a ring of bright ruby cuts a fine halo around the wine. When give a hearty swirl, the wine settles quickly. When it does, tall and skinny legs are fast to form before they move slowly to the surface below.

Smell – Rich and ripe black and red cherry leap from the glass, at first. These are followed by jammy blackberry and blueberry compote. Just below all of these wonderful aromas, black currant, braised plum, close and cinnamon mingle with sweetwood and a hint of eucalyptus.

Feel – Very plush, with a full, weighty, crushed velvet feel that begins on the tip of the tongue – coating the entire palate as it moves backwards and out to the lips and cheeks. Plush tannins feels big and slightly chewy, and the wines acids give the wine a very balanced but very rich and vibrant feel.

Taste – Dark and bold, with rich fruit and dark spice. Black plum, black cherry, rich blackberry, blueberry and seared black fig take center stage. Black licorice, dark sweetwood and a hint of cocoa powder round out the very exotic flavor profile.

Finish – Very long and lingering, the dark fruit hanging on the palate for a long time. As a gentle dryness sets in, softly dark minerals and a hint of spice make the mouth water.

Conclusion – What a fantastic wine this newest 2007 Bella’s Blend is. Where the 2006 showed some restraint, this vintage exhibits bolder fruit and greater flavor. This, coupled with a richer, more elegant feel, makes the wine a true delight. This is a big wine, but not at all overpowering. The Bella’s Blend wines are the most popular that the winery makes, year to year, and they always sell out quickly. The Wine Spies are very proud to be the first to bring you this latest vintage of Ehret’s flagship wine. Pair this wine as you would a bold Cabernet Sauvignon. A grilled steak, fresh off the barbecue would be a superb choice.

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.


AGENT RED: Hi, Nick. Thanks for sitting down with us, today. Please tell us about the 2007 Ehret Bella’s Blend that we are featuring, today.

NICK: The goal with this wine is to make with long silky tannins with ripe flavors and a balanced mouth. Typically in Knights valley you have wines that have more spice and dry tannins but we make this wine with many components site specifically not only for the variety matched on multiple soils with the soil but also matched to the vintage. Complexity is a balance of elegance, power and density and that has to be matched to the ripening conditions, clone and the style that we are seeking out

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

NICK: Any savory meat and pasta dishes

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Knights Valley region so special?

NICK: The ability to make powerful wines that are clearly varietal without negative green elements. The secret is the ripening season. Knights valley gets off to a later start than Alexander Valley and Napa and yet quickly catches up when the season is more contusive. So we get faster accumulation of sugars and flavors and yet enough time for the tannins to develop. This is lower alcohol and more intense flavors

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

NICK: Cigars and beer. Really – I also make wine in the southern hemisphere and so that is where I am now

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 vineyards in Knights Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the winery says

Awards & Accolades:

Double Gold MedalSan Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

95 Points – Wine X /

About This Wine:

This wine opens with plum, black cherry and walnut aromas. The underlying wood enhances the wine’s opulent, smooth finish. Drink now or cellar for 10 to 12 years.

The grapes in this wine were all handpicked from the rocky hillside of Bavarian Lion Vineyards. The slightly higher elevation combined with volcanic soils and warm sunny days create ideal conditions for growing the classic Old World varietals. Bella’s Blend is comprised of perfect proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah for a rich, complex wine that will complement any cuisine.

About This Wine:

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

Varietals: 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Cabernet Franc, 29% Syrah

Production: 528 cases

Alcohol: 14.7% by volume

pH: 3.61

TA: 0.577 g/100 ml

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