2007 'The Spaghetti Western' Napa Valley Red Wine
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: A Fist Full of Grapes
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to McKenzie-Mueller winery and raid their stash. Locate their flagship red blend and retrieve an ample allotment for our eager Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: McKenzie-Mueller
Wine Subject: 2007 Spaghetti Western, Napa Valley Red Blend
Winemaker: Robert Mueller
Backgrounder: Winemaker, Robert Mueller, whose 40 year career has seen him work at Robert Mondavi, Opus One and McKenzie-Mueller, is revered as one of Napa’s best.
2007 was a banner year for California red wines, earning a stellar 96 Points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world come from Napa Valley. Today’s limited-production wine is an exciting, expressive, food-fantastic red blend of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark ruby hues with a deep and inky heart. At the edge of the glass, a fine ring of magenta encircles the wine. After swirling, the wine settles quickly, leaving behind tall columns of very slow-moving legs.
Smell – Bright and sweet, balances beautifully against dark and earthy. Juicy red cherry, dried cranberry and wild strawberry are in perfect juxtaposition with dusty bramble, dried leather, soft cedar, subtle brown spice and black pepper.
Feel – Medium bodied, initially, this wine grows on the palate, stretching out and driving a mouth-coating plushness that spreads a dryness from corner to corner. Bright acidity presents at the edges of the palate and integrated tannins give the wine a plush, softly dry feel.
Taste – Black cherry and brambly blackberry meld with dried cherry, black currant, black plum, dried tobacco leaf, black pepper and flinty minerals.
Finish – Long and flavorful, with black cherry juice, black currant, blackberry and softly spicy plum. After the wine breathes for a while, it reveals toasty oak, cocoa dust, bramble, black pepper and a hint of savory sage.
Conclusion – This is a wine that is built for food! Each sip is a flavor-filled, palate-cleansing delight. This delicious wine is loaded with dark fruit, but it presents such great acidity as well. When I reviewed this wine, I first wondered if the winery picked early, which would give the wine that bright, high-acid quality. However, I quickly realized that there was plenty of dark, extracted fruit, too. Pair this wine with a hearty grilled meat. I enjoyed mine with a huge plate of spaghetti and meatballs! The combination is fun and just right. This limited-production wine (each bottle is numbered) gets my hearty recommendation.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the McKenzie-Mueller Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This small production wine delivers a barrage of blackberries, cherries, and plum to the palate while
leading up to black pepper and toasty vanilla coming from it’s 38 months in French and Hungarian
Oak barrels. It’s full bodied and velvety, with a long fruit finish giving it the ability to pair well with many dishes.
Pairs Well With: Serve with grilled red meats, barbecue pork, dishes with rich tomato sauces, or just an empty glass and your favorite Sergio Leone film…curtains please.
About The Winery:
McKenzie-Mueller Vineyards and Winery History: McKenzie-Mueller is a small, family-run winery committed to making high quality wines. Founded in 1989 by Bob Mueller and Karen McKenzie, our fifty acre estate is tucked away in the enchanting Los Carneros region of southern Napa County. We made our first vintage in 1990, producing 500 cases. We now produce 2500 cases a year. We are proud to be named Estate Winery of the Year in 2000 by Wine & Spirits magazine.
Bob and Karen were both raised in the Napa Valley, where Bob grew up working the family farm. After Bob graduated from UC Davis, he and Karen met over a vat of Zinfandel grapes, and it’s been love, wine and kids ever since! To say that our winery is a family operation would be an understatement. Our five children have each helped out in winery operations, and the handful of employees who aren’t directly related to us have become family over the years. Bob is the wine grower and wine maker, and Karen has made it all possible wearing her different hats: homemaker, office manager, and tour and tasting guide. Now a high school art teacher, her love of people and approachable style continue to guide McKenzie-Mueller winery.
Our goal is to have fun, farm in harmony with nature, and make delicious, hand-crafted wine that you will enjoy with family and friends. We’d love for you to be a part of our family; please call to arrange a visit!
Our Vineyards: All of our wines are Estate produced and bottled, and come from our two vineyards: Big Ranch Road in Oak Knoll and Los Carneros.
Settled at the southern end of the Oak Knoll District, our Big Ranch Road vineyard has been home to our Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes since 1979. Formerly a prune orchard, the soil is rich, deep and loamy. The gentle slopes and warm temperature create an environment that makes this AVA famous for lush red wines.
Our Los Carneros vineyard is nestled in the rolling hills north of the San Pablo Bay, the northern-most part of the San Francisco Bay. The cooler temperatures and shallow topsoil combine to create the potential for high quality wines. As the vines struggle to survive in the heavy clay subsoil, the maritime influence allows the grapes a longer hang time, giving them softer tannins and more developed flavors. The Los Carneros AVA is renowned for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and is where we grow our Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Malbec as well as Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our Philosophy and Style: We began as wine growers—farmers who wanted to produce grapes that would make great wines. With Bob as the wine grower, vineyard manager, and winemaker, we feel we embody the combination of agriculture and winemaking that used to be so prevalent in the Napa Valley.
We are committed to using farming practices that leave the softest impact on the soil and land. We are helped in our efforts by the owls and hawks who continue to inhabit the eucalyptus trees surrounding our estate, keeping watch over our vines and eliminating predators that would feast on young vines.
Every part of our operation is done by hand, from the planting and pruning, to the harvesting and selecting. Our fermentation techniques vary according to the varietals, but all fermentation occurs either in stainless steel tanks or 1/2 ton open-top fermenters. After fermentation, all red wines go to oak barrels, and all whites are housed in either stainless steel tanks or neutral barrels. All of our wines are bottled unfiltered. We are uncompromising in our methods, and the result is wine that is an authentic expression of the vineyard and the fruit.
Varietal Makeup: Proprietary Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
AVA: Napa Valley
Harvest Date: October 11, 2007
Yeast Strain: Saccharomyces Cerevisiae
Harvest Brix: 25.8
TA: 6.1 g / L
Rs: <1 g/L
Cooperage: French and European Oak barrels
Time in Barrels: 38 months
Bottling Date: July 7, 2011
Cases Produced: 121