Hendry Ranch Wines
2006 Napa Valley Red Wine
Red Blend •Hendry Estate Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
We maintain very high standards for the wines that we select for you, and when one exceeds that standard we issue a special alert. Today’s Bordeaux style blend from Hendry easily earns this recognition.
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Mission Codename: Pretty in Purple
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate Hendry Ranch, and procure their vaunted 2007 Block 28 Zinfandel. Before the winery sells out, procure an exclusive allotment for our Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Hendry Ranch
Wine Subject: 2006 Napa Valley Red Wine – Bordeaux Blend
Winemaker: George Hendry
Backgrounder: Bordeaux wines are usually a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet France, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. In France, perfection is achieved with the perfect balance of these grapes. Today’s 2006 Hendry Ranch Red Wine is a masterful blend of 42% Malbec (from Hendry’s Estate Block 14 vineyard), 26% Petit Verdot (Block 15) 21% Cabernet Sauvignon (Block 8), 7% Merlot (Block 13) and 4% Cabernet Franc (Block 26).
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Darkest Bordeaux purple, when viewed side on. The wine is inky and darker, at its core, and it lightens to garnet at the edge. Spin the wine and take note of how it stains the glass before it coalesces into tight clusters of skinny tears.
Smell – Dark and spiced, with generous blackberry, burnt raisin and dark oak. As the wine airs out, black cherry, leather, dried violets and subtle pencil shavings.
Feel – Clean and light on entry. Then, immediately grippy and weighty as the wine settles onto the mid palate. A mineral-driven dryness spreads from the center of the palate, outward, drying the lips. Plush tannins give the wine a chewy feel.
Taste – Darkest cherry, overripe blackberry, grilled mission fig, dark plum, spice, oak and black licorice all work in equal proportion, driving big flavor from beginning to end.
Finish – Very long and flavor-filled, with black fruit and oak sustaining beyond the spice and licorice components. As the wine dries the palate, and the wine takes on a chewy feel, flavors tail off slowly, leaving behind oak and flinty minerals.
Conclusion – The 2006 Napa Valley Red Wine, from our great friends at Hendry, is a big, bold, delicious, flavor-packed Bordeaux Blend. Sourced from the winery’s own lovingly tended estate vineyards, this wine really impressed our tasting panel. Give the wine time to breath, after opening, and you’ll have a softer and more elegant experience with the wine. On opening, edges are a bit hard, but the wine really opens up and softens as it breaths. We had fun, spinning the wine in our glasses, and sipping every few minutes. The more we spun, the more we loved this wine. Pair with bolder dishes. Drink now, or cellar for up to ten more years!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: George Hendry
WINE EDUCATION: 1963, I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees from UC California at Berkeley in engineering. My years of experience in the vineyard and the laboratory are the resources I call upon in my search to achieve the delicate balance of terroir, clone, viticulture and enology.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: I aim to make wines that reflect the unique terroir of our ranch: wines with refinement, elegance and balance.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Wines should be good dinner guests: they should participate in the conversation, interact with the other guests (the food), but they should never dominate.”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1995
AGENT RED: Greetings, George. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Napa Valley Red Wine today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
GEORGE: Thank you, Agent Red! We are thrilled to be back with The Wine Spies.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
GEORGE: Not a specific experience but a keen interest in wine and food pairing contributed substantially.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
GEORGE: The winemaking style of Tim Mondavi in the 80’s and 90’s.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
GEORGE: This wine is a Bordeaux blend. In the blend we use a lot of petite Verdot and Malbec. These grapes are not widely grown in Napa, but they do very well in our vineyard. Together they produce incredible color and contribute to the richness and complexity in this wine.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
GEORGE: This wine pairs well with rich foods and meats of all kinds. I love it with lamb.
RED: In your opinion, what makes your estate vineyard so special?
GEORGE: The Hendry vineyard is in the foothills north west of the city of Napa. We have been growing grapes here since my grandparents purchased the property in 1939. This latitude in the valley provides enough marine influence for a long growing season, but enough heat to ripen Cabernet in a cool year. It is a great spot.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
GEORGE: This harvest was one of our latest. We have finished picking, but will be draining and pressing tanks for a few more weeks.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
GEORGE: If you know us for our Cabernet Sauvignon, try one of our Chardonnays. If you know us for our Pinot Noir, try our Red Wine (a blend of our Bordeaux varietals). You may discover a new favorite. Most certainly you’ll discover another reason why Hendry is such a special place to grow grapes
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
GEORGE: Taste a lot of different wines, always with food.
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!
GEORGE: Thank you…
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Hendry Ranch Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Like its predecessors, the 2006 Hendry Red initially reveals attractive, spicy oak and just a whiff of low-toned purple fruit. The wine is strikingly dense and purple, coating the surface of the glass, due to high percentages of Malbec and Petit Verdot. Silky and full on the entry. The dense palate weight is detectable, even when first opened. With air, the mid-palate continues to expand, to include powdered cocoa and deep berry, accented with pleasant baking spices. Aromatically elusive and complex. A full mid-palate and gradual transition to a fine-grained tannin structure, make this a wine that happily pairs with moderately rich dishes, yet is soft enough to enjoy on its own.
Vineyard Notes The Hendry Vineyard is located on bench lands west of the town of Napa. The vines grow on thin, stony clay soil between 200 and 300 feet above sea level. Morning fog and strong afternoon breezes from San Pablo Bay moderate the climate.