Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards
2008 Morris Fay Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Morris Fay Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: A Proud Heritage
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure a exceptional budget-minded Cabernet Sauvignon for our deserving Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2008 Cabernet Sauvignion – Morris Fay Vineyard – Alexander Valley
Winemaker: John Pedroncelli
Today’s Cabernet Sauvignon comes to us from one of Sonoma County’s most experienced winemaking families. Grown in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valey, today’s wine is a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report, below, for the the complete scoop on today’s wine
Alexander Valley in northeast Sonoma County is located on the western side of the Mayacamas range and extends westward to the edge of the Russian River Valley. This appellation was formerly considered a part of Dry Creek Valley but became its own appellation in November 1984. The region is best known for exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot but recently people are starting to discover its Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Chardonnay as well.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark Burgundy coloration, from core to outer edge, where a fine band of ruby rings the glass. When swirled, the wine settles very quickly. As it settles, tall, skinny, wine-stained tears move quickly down the glass.
Smell – Bold blueberry and blackberry mix with dark cherry, oak and bramble. As the wine breathes, it reveals additional aromas of soft spice, leather and cigar box.
Feel – Soft and lightweight on the attack, the wine settles onto the mid-palate, where it takes on additional weight. Fine-grained tannins and a bright acidity give the wine structure and a softly chewy feel. Gradually, a soft dryness spreads from the core of the palate, outward.
Taste – Rich and dark, with black cherry, dark plum, smoky blackberry and oak, out in front. As the wine opens, dark leather, cedar and soft spice emerge.
Finish – Long and dark, with lingering black fruit that is supported by a bright and tangy acidity. Leather, dark minerals and black pepper persist to the very end.
Conclusion – This is the third successive Morris Fay Cabernet that we have featured from our friends at Pedroncelli Winery. Consistent from year to year, we have come to expect bright fruit and a firm, medium-body from this vineyard. As with prior vintages, this 2008 is a great value, and we feel that it shows great promise. Drinking well, now, we know that it will be even better as it develops. Be sure to decant for best results, and be sure to lay a few bottles down for your Winter Holiday entertaining.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: John Pedroncelli
POB: Dunsmuir CA
Wine Education: SRJC and summer short courses at UC Davis
California wine job brief: Pedroncelli Winery from 1946-present; winemaker in 1949
Winemaking Philosophy: To produce the best wine possible to reflect the variety and appellation it is grown in.
Signature Varietal: Zinfandel
Career highlight: Traveled/visited most of the winemaking countries of the world.
Quote: “World class wines are made in the vineyard.”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Jim. We are thrilled to be showing your Morris Fay Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
JIM: My pleasure to work with you, once again, Agent Red. We enjoy our Wine Spies missions!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
JIM: Growing up in a winemaking family
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
JIM: In the classroom, from peers, and from the ground up—beginning in the vineyard.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
JIM: To produce world-class consumer affordable wine to enjoy on a daily basis
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
JIM: Giovanni Pedroncelli, my father
RED: How long have you been making wine?
JIM: Since 1949
RED: Who do you make wine for?
JIM: Knowledgeable wine drinkers
RED: Tell me, what makes the Dry Creek Valley, where Pedroncelli Winery sits, so special?
JIM: weather, soil and the individual grape growers
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
JIM: Attend a good Agricultural college plus work experience in the vineyard and winery
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
JIM: I consult with our winemaking team that includes our assistant winemaker, Montse Reece, cellarmaster Polo Cano, and vineyard manager Lance Blakeley.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
JIM: Good balance of acid and tannin, good flavor and long lingering finish. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard in Alexander Valley that was established in the 1970s, from a family who has farmed the property since the late 1800s.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
JIM: Vennison stew or for mainstream meals, I like New York Strip steak grilled
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
JIM: Tennis was a passion of mine for many years.
RED: What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
JIM: With an open mind and a view that wine really has no boundaries – there are so many choices when it comes to wine – if you don’t try it, you’ll never gain experience.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
JIM: I’d like to taste our first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon from 1966
RED: What is good piece of wisdom that you can share with us today?
JIM: I have seen quite a bit of our little corner in Dry Creek Valley change, for the better. I’ve learned you need to ride the waves of the industry, the ups and downs, in order to succeed.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
JIM: Thanks, Red!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
“Deep garnet red in color, our Morris Fay Cabernet Sauvignon is rich in aromas of cherry, plum, and toasty oak. Forward tannins create richness on the palate followed by long-lasting spice and fruit flavors lingering on the finish. This Cabernet typifies the rich, spicier flavors of Alexander Valley fruit. Ready to drink now or cellar for 10 more years.”
Morris Fay Vineyard: This vineyard is located east of the winery in northern Alexander Valley, where the Fay family has farmed for over 100 years. This appellation has been recognized as one of California’s finest sites for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Morris Fay began selling fruit to the Pedroncellis in the 1970s and is considered a prime source of Cabernet Sauvignon today. The wines made from this vineyard have consistently revealed distinct spice and singular fruit qualities.
Winemaking: The fruit was harvested on September 29 and crushed into a temperature controlled stainless steel tank. The berries and juice underwent a 48 hour cold soak followed by pumpovers of the cap during fermentation. This gives the young wine a substantial increase of flavor and color. Following fermentation, the wine was transferred to medium toast French oak barrels to age for fourteen months. This length of time gave the wine a chance to develop smoother tannins and take on a subtle spiciness from the oak.
About The Winery:
Since 1927, when John Pedroncelli, Sr. purchased vineyard and a small winery in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, two elements remain unchanged: the exceptional place the Pedroncelli family farms vineyards, and the family’s dedication to making fine wines.
- From selling grapes to home winemakers during prohibition in order to keep the vineyards going,
- to growing a small base of business during the 1930s and 1940s,
- to the second generation joining their father: son John becoming winemaker in 1948 followed by Jim in 1955 as sales director,
- to 1963 when the winery was officially purchased by John and Jim from their father,
- to growing the line of wines in the 1960s with vineyard expansion and diversification,
- to the boom time of the 1970s and 1980s along with many changes and additions to our sales base including national sales and export,
- the third generation coming on board and vineyard replanting in the 1990s
- to the 21st century where the fourth generation is coming up the ranks…
- and it is still a family owned business.
It all adds up to tradition, heritage and a family of wines you can enjoy with confidence.
Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 14 mos, French Oak Barrels