2006 SPELLwine Spellonu Red
California: Napa Valley
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Mission Codename: Blending Spells
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Revisit Spellwines, at Spelletich Cellars, and acquire their budget-minded 2006 Spellonu a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Spellwine the new generation of Spelletich Cellars
Wine Subject: 2006 Spellwines Spellonu (Spell on you)
Winemaker: Kristen and Barbara Spelletich
Winery Backgrounder: Today’s wine represents the new generation of wines from our friends at Spelletich Cellars. Guided by Kristen, the daughter of winemaker Barbara Spelletich, Spellwines are an exciting addition to the Spelletich lineup.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet, with an opaque core and bold burgundy edges. After swirling the wine, tall, skinny legs start high up on the glass wall, before moving slowly downward.
Smell – Spiced black cherry candy, blackberry, dried cranberry, soft spice and sweet oak. These sit atop subtle dried violets, earth and young strawberry.
Feel – Plush and grippy across the entry, this wine moves quickly across the mid palate, gradually settling onto the entire palate, spreading a soft dryness from edge to edge.
Taste – Dark and dense, with overripe blackberry, smoky plum, braised fig, black cherry and boysenberry. These flavors gradually yield to dried violets, cocoa dust, dark bakers chocolate and spice.
Finish – Bold and full of flavor, the dark fruit goes medium-long, to be gradually replaced by spice, dark dried flowers, minerals and chocolate.
Conclusion – Decant this shy wine for best flavors and aromatics. Decant for at least thirty minutes, or spin it vigorously in your glass and be rewarded with more natural fruit flavors and richer, dark fruit aromas. This blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Merlot fuses an intriguing blend of dark character from the cab, with brightness from the Merlot. The combination makes for a very flavorful wine that is also very food-friendly. Pair with a hearty stew or a grilled t-bone steak.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Barbara Spelletich
WINE EDUCATION: UC Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Cork & Bottle, Seattle Washington, Retail Store Manager. Taught Wine Classes, wine tasting and cheese; St. Michelle, Woodinville, Washington, Retail Sales Manager, Public Events, Tasting Room Zephyr Imports, Owner; Imported wines from Italy, France, Germany, Spain & Portugal; Whitwhams, Responsible for US sales. We were negociants for Cru Classe Bordeaux, Ports & Burgundies. Offices in Manchester England & Cenon, Bordeaux; St. Clement, St. Helena, CA National Sales Manager; Spelletich Cellars, Owner & Winemaker
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: As natural as possible.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: ”I do not want to manipulate wine. I want to harvest when ripe, ferment cool to capture the fruit essence and age until the wine is ready to be bottled. The most important feature of my wine is that it smell and taste of the grapes it was made from. Simple.”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: Bodog Red 1993, Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 & Chardonnay 1994. All Napa Valley.
AGENT RED: Greetings, Barbara. Welcome back! We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Spellwines Spellonu Blend today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
BARBARA SPELLETICH: I’m happy to be back with you, Red.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
BARBARA: Yes, a trip to California when I was 18 years old. I tasted Cabernet Sauvignon at a dinner and that was it!
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
BARBARA: The list is long as I imported wine from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal & Spain for years. Angelo Gaja taught me to not compromise, Signore Gentini taught me to blend, Egon Mueller taught me to plant the right clone of grapes and keep the vines healthy. Each of the wines I exported to my company, Zephyr Imports, in Seattle Washington had a story, a style, a commitment to excellence & a creative curve.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
BARBARA: I make wine for customers. I make wines that are great with food. So my customers are also foodies who like wine. Same me & my family & friends.
- RED:* Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
- BARBARA:* This is our 2006 Spellonu.. it has nothing to do with Harry Potter…or witching.. Kristen wanted to make a fun blend and call it what I wanted.. it’s a silly joke between us.. but it’s really plays into the SPELL.. like our last name.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
WINEMAKER: This wine goes with about everything.. but my favorite would be.. I made an amazing turkey the other night, with sweet caramelized unions and a sweet mustard with spinach. It was amazing and they were perfect match.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
BARBARA: Well, we are racking all 2011 wines right now and I am playing catch up we decided to take almost all of December off and it was great.. but now I am planning 2012 – and hoping to kick ass!!
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
BARBARA: Use your nose first. As a winemaker, I love the smell of wine. So the aroma is the first sense of any wine we taste. I like to swirl my wine to open it up and then take my first sip and roll this around my mouth a bit before I swallow. Sometimes we need to let a wine open up and show its personality before we really get it. Take your time with wine. The wait is worth it.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
BARBARA: Taste wines you have never tried before. You will fall in love. Again.
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 the Spelletich Cellars can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Dark in color with loads of bittersweet chocolate, a hint of mint and lush, sweet dark fruit. It’s very alluring.
About The Winery:
Spelletich Family Winery started with the 1994 harvest in Napa Valley. The first wines were Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Bodog Red. With minimal intervention, they rely upon their secret weapon: Barb’s palate. Focusing on three basic, yet critical principles: when to harvest, when to press and when to pull off the oak to pursue something larger and more elusive than your ordinary wines. Their approach is to produce wines of integrity; that are rich, ripe and refreshing. Barbs focus is the fruit. She wants you to be able to taste real fruit flavors and smell the incredible nose of her wines. This winery is truly only family owned and operated. Husband & wife team Timothy and Barb Spelletich and their daughter Kristen.
Barb was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She stared her career in the wine industry as the manager of The Cork & Bottle. She worked for Ste. Michelle Winery, G. Raden & Sons, and then established her own distributorship, Zephyr Imports. This began her international travels and relationships with the finest wineries in the world. She spent every spring traveling to Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. The purpose was to visit each producer to choose the wines to be exported to the United States. These producers became friends and taught Barb much about wine making. Mainly the importance of ripe fruit and the gentle way to preserve that fruit flavor. Her next step was Whitwhams Fine and Rare Wines, based in Manchester, England and Bordeaux. Life as a negociant enhanced her contact with winemakers of all Cru Classe. She futher enhanced her winemaking skills with courses at UC Davis. Barb arrived in Napa Valley in 1992 and started working for St. Clement Vineyards in St. Helena.
Timothy grew up half way across the country in Davenport, Iowa. After graduating with a degree in business from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, he had an opportunity to work in Italy. He worked at the Locanda Del Sant’Uffizio, a small country inn and restaurant located in a town outside of Asti. At this former monastery he experienced an old fashioned way of life. Each prix fixe meal was prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients available on the property and nearby villages. The exposure to herbs, fruits and vegetables harvested at their peak of ripeness, creating menus, plus pairing the food with wine introduced Timothy to flavors and sensory evalationsthat changed his life forever. This small exclusive inn also made their own wine from estate grapes. He then returned to the United States to work for The Pierre Hotel in New York City and The Four Seasons in Philadelphia. Timothy arrived in Napa Valley spring of 1993 and started working for Tra Vigne Restaurant in St. Helena as manager and wine buyer.
After 11 years of business, Barb & Timothy were able to hire their daughter Kristen. Born in Seattle, Washington, she grew up in St. Helena. Kristen spent 10 years working in the wine and hospitality industry before she was ready to tackle her own family business. While attending college in Napa for Psychology, she had an opportunity to work at The French Laundry and realized that she needed to start thinking more seriously about the industry that had been part of her life since birth. She continued learning through sales and relationship marketing at The Culinary Insitute, Viansa, Sterling Vineyards and Mumm Napa. Her main focus now is to build Spelletich Cellars to fit the 21st century market.
Timothy and Barb’s individual experiences in Europe, interests in wine, food, cooking and entrepreneurial drive generate an awesome team of artistry and hard work. The combination of wine industry preparation and lifelong passion is what united them in the heart of Napa Valley to launch Spelletich Cellars Winery.
Now with the second generation on board and a strong outlook on the future, we share our passion and remind you that life is to be enjoyed with food, family & friends!
Varietals: 59% Cabernet Sauvignon & 41% Merlot
Region: Napa Valley