Scott Harvey Wines
2008 J&S Reserve Barbera
California: Amador County
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Gold Rush Barbera
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire the exquisite J&S Reserve Barbera from operative favorite Scott Harvey Wines.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Scott Harvey Wines
Wine Subject: 2008 Amador County J&S Reserve Barbera
Winemaker: Scott Harvey
Backgrounder: Nestled in California’s once gold-rich Sierra Foothills, the Amador County AVA (American Viticultural Area) has been called California’s last great undiscovered wine growing region. With vineyards that date back to the 19th Century, this region is home to some of the oldest vines in the state. Today, Amador County produces some of the best Barbera in the state. Of course, Barbera was made famous as one of the primary wines of Italy’s Piedmont region.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dense and deep ruby red in color with intense color that extends to the very rim of the glass. Bright and clear in its core with streaks of ruby when held to the light and when swirled tightly spaced slaw fat legs hang for a moment before descending with fat heads and thin tails.
Smell – Bright and fresh red fruit including red cherry, raspberry and strawberry blend with a touch of exotic spice and pepper, earthy undertones, soft green and briary herbs, brown sugar and toasted oak with a touch of vanilla.
Feel – Soft and generous on the palate, this dry and full-bodied fruit forward wine has well developed tannins and balanced acidity that glides over the tongue. A touch of spice and mineral character makes its presence known at the back and sides of the tongue.
Taste – Abundant ripe and jammy red, black and even some blue fruit including red cherry, raspberry, plum and strawberry mingle with hints of brown sugar and hints of dusty earth. A touch of toasted oak, green herbs, and mocha coffee adds complexity.
Finish – Long and ripe with the fruit lasting and lasting as the other complex flavors and aromas fade underneath.
Conclusion – The 2008 Scott Harvey Wines Amador County J&S Reserve Barbera is a delicious, easy to drink and fruit forward wine that shows plenty of classic varietal character packaging in a distinctly new world California package. Ripe fruit seamlessly transitions from nose to palate and a mouthfeel that is soft and expansive. A lovely wine to pair with homemade red tomato and meat ragu on your next pasta night. Enjoy now or cellar for three to five years
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Scott Harvey
DATE OF BIRTH: 3-24-54
PLACE OF BIRTH: Bamberg, Germany
WINE EDUCATION: 1975, I apprenticed at K. Fitz-Ritter Winery while attending the Weinbau Schule in Neustadt, Germany. Returned to Amador County to apprentice from Cary Gott at Montevina winery.
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Montevina, In 1978, at the age of twenty-three, Scott took over as Head Winemaker for Story Winery, worked at Santino Winery and then started Renwood winery with a partner. Later was recruited to Napa Valley to be winemaker and president of Folie a Deux.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Being European trained, I make wines to go with food—good acidity and low pH. This is considered old world style of winemaking.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Barbera
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Named 1 of the top 10 Winemakers in CA by Dan Berger
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: 2003 Scott Harvey Reserve Barbera being selected as 3rd best Barbera in the world outside of Italy.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “Wine needs to tell two stories, one I’m Zinfandel, two I’m Napa Valley”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Scott. We are thrilled to be showing your * Scott Harvey Wines 2008 J&S Reserve Barbera* today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
SCOTT: It is always a pleasure to be on a mission with you spies!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
SCOTT: When I was sent to Germany as an AFS exchange student in high school, I was sent to a winemaking region of Germany. On my first day there, my “German family” handed me a glass of wine. I looked out the window at the vineyards below, got my German dictionary out and said, “does this wine come from those grapes?” They said “yes, do you want to see where it’s made?” ….and the rest is history.
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
SCOTT: I got my basic training in Germany but my recent winemaking style I attribute to my mentor , Dr. Richard Peterson.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
SCOTT: Old world style. Wines that are drunk with food.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
SCOTT: Dr. Richard Peterson
RED: How long have you been making wine?
SCOTT: 37 years
RED: Who do you make wine for?
SCOTT: myself, my wife, and our consumers
RED: Tell me, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
SCOTT: Only 2% of the world has a Mediterranean climate like Napa Valley with the warm days and cool nights along with its unique soils and geography.
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
SCOTT: You need to be a very clean and neat person. 90% of winemaking is janitorial.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
SCOTT: We are putting this harvest to bed, by barreling down the new wines. Look forward wonderful Barbera’s to come from the 2011 vintage. They are showing great flavors and extraction.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
SCOTT: The wine is our 2008 J&S Reserve Amador county Barbera. I planted this vineyard in 1986 with the help of my grandfather and father in law. In 1996 it was rated the best Barbera in America by the Wall Street Journal. The 2003 vintage was judged in an international Barbera competition in the Piedmonte of Italy and was rated third best in the world among the non- Italian Barbera’s. The completion judged all the Italian wines as one group and the rest of the world as another group.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
SCOTT: The bright acidity of Barbera goes best with tomato based dishes.
RED: In your opinion, what makes Amador County such a special place for Barbera?
SCOTT: Barbera originally comes from the foothills of a fast young growing mountain range, being the Piedmonte of the Alps. Piedmont means foothills in Italian. When you think of it, Amador County is the same thing. The foothills of a fast young growing mountain range, the Sierra Nevada. Both the Alps and the Sierra Nevada are large granite monolithic uplifts due to continental drift with decomposed granite soils coming off their sloops. The main difference is that the Piedmonte has much more of a marine influence being closer to the Mediterranean than Amador is to the Pacific. Piedmonte has a lot more fog and the best variety of the region is named after the fog, being Nebbiolo. Nebbiolo is a fog loving variety producing the most expensive wines of the Piedmonte, Barolo and Barbaresco. Barbera is a sun loving variety and therefor much better suited to Amador County than the Nebbiolo. Amador County is rapidly becoming known as one of the best regions in the world for Barbera. It is the best varietal of Amador county.
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
SCOTT: I like to iron my own shirts.
RED:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
SCOTT: People drink experiences. Have fun with the wine.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
SCOTT: Whatever my wife wants to drink.
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
SCOTT: Question: Do you have any new wines planned to make? Answer: I’d love to make a Gewürztraminer from a cold climate region.
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!
SCOTT: Thank, Red! Back to harvest for me. See you soon!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the vineyards in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
A blend of the Manby Vineyard and Vineyard 1869 of the Shenandoah Valley of Amador County, California. Amador County is extremely well suited to Barbera. Barbera both buds out earlier and ripens later than Zinfandel producing grapes at lower pH and full bright acidity. Barbera will eventually become known as the best variety for Amador County.
Fruit forward, rich full flavors expressing both the varietal and the Amador Terroir. This complex wine has notes of cherries, pepper and blackberry with a bright center finishing with vanilla and spice.
About The Winery:
Scott Harvey Wines are made of the best varietals from the terroir of Amador County, California. These worldly wines include an Old Vine Zinfandel, a Syrah (Rhone), a Barbera (Italian) and a Port (Portuguese). Scott’s roots are in Amador County which has allowed him to develop considerable expertise with these varietals.
Growing up in California’s Sierra Mountains Region, Scott developed a keen interest in winemaking as a high school exchange student in the Rhineland Pfalz region of Germany. Scott attended California State University at Sacramento before beginning practical Enology training at Montevina Winery in Amador County. Back to Germany in 1975, he apprenticed at K. Fitz-Ritter Winery while attending the Weinbau Schule in Neustadt. Once again returning to Montevina Winery, Scott focused on all aspects of winemaking and running a winery. From farming the grapes to effectively marketing the wine, Scott solidified his knowledge and experience. In 1978, at the age of twenty-three, Scott took over as Head Winemaker for Story Winery, also in Amador County.
In 1979 Scott developed an ambitious winery plan for the Santino family. As Winemaker and General Manager of Santino Winery, Scott is credited with placing Amador County firmly on the California wine map. Crafting the best wines possible from the soils and climatic conditions of the region, Santino and later Renwood benefited from Scott’s German training and innovative style. Becoming one of the leading wineries in Amador County, and garnering critical acclaim, the wine world was paying attention. Amador County was now recognized as a world-class wine-growing appellation.
In 1996, Scott was recruited as Partner, Winemaker & President for newly purchased, Folie a Deux Winery in Napa Valley. Combining forces with Lead Partner, renowned Winemaker, Richard Peterson, Ph.D, a formidable winemaking team was launched. Scott pursued his commitment to award-winning Cabernets made from the Estate Vineyards in Napa Valley while continuing his passion for Amador County Zinfandel. Access to Scott’s original Grandpère vineyard in Amador County and close relationships with premier Amador County growers, resulted in award-winning wines all around for Folie a Deux. In addition, Scott’s creation, the “Menage a Trois” line of wines, was an instant commercial success. In 2004, Folie a Deux, now a respected brand, was sold to Sutter Home/Trinchero Winery. Scott was finally positioned and ready to start his own venture, and he had the ideal partner – his wife, Jana, a wine industry veteran.
Scott Harvey Wines, the initial line of wines in the “Creative Wine Concepts” portfolio, was created out of market demand for Scott’s wines – “niche wines that over deliver.” The Scott Harvey line focuses on Scott’s roots – Zinfandel, Syrah and Barbera from the Sierra’s. Approachable, food friendly and full of luscious fruit, these wines have struck a cord in the marketplace. Scott has hit his stride with his new mantra – “Scott Harvey Wines, it’s time!” Stay tuned – this is just the beginning!
Wine Type: Red Wine
Appellation: Amador County