Hans Fahden

2006 Merlot Napa Valley


California: Napa Valley

Offer Expired:Jul 09, 2008 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price

What we say

LOOKING FOR THE BURGESS SYRAH? Come back after midnight! The wine will be available all day Thursday…

If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Hans Fahden Winery.

Wine Spies Once-in-a-lifetime Alert!: Today we are pleased to the first wine seller to bring you another exclusive from Hans Fahden. This wine is not only very special, it is also precious. Once this wine is gone, the winery will not release another

Superior Wine Alert!: This is another exceptional Hans Fahden wine and we are astounded that it sells for so little

SAVINGS ALERT!: Operatives who buy six or more bottles today will be rewarded with Free Ground Shipping, but only if they enter the secret savings code: MERLOTSPY

Mission Codename: Quothe the Raven

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Respond immediately to reports that Wine Spies Operative favorite, Hans Fahden, has released a one-time Merlot. If the wine is great, secure as much as possible – before they run out – forever!

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Hans Fahden Winery

Wine Subject: 2004 Mountain Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker: Israel Montanez

Backgrounder: The 2003 Hans Fahden Cabernet Sauvignon was one of the most popular Cabs we featured in 2007. In 2008, we offered their incredible 2004. Again, a smash success and a fast sell-out. When we learned that they were producing a limited release Merlot, we sped to the winery to taste the wine. When we fell in love, we secured an exclusive on the wine and are offering you what could be you only chance to try the wine. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes below, followed by his original Mission Report, in which Red first becomes acquainted with this wonderful winery.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Deep ruby red in color with a heart of dark plum. Swirl the glass and thick legs appear slowly before they march slowly down the glass

Smell – A wonderful blast of concentrated aromas of earthen cherry, ripe blackberry, soft pine tar and mild fresh mixed salad herbs

Feel – Initially velvet soft and then the wine shows lush medium tannins as it coats and then drys the tongue and the roof of the mouth

Taste – Big and rich flavors of dark stonefruit, dark cherry, dark smoky blueberry, blackberry and plum, with a slight herbaceous or vegital quality that gives the wine a hearty flavor that follows its initial fruity brightness

Finish – Super long-lasting, with smokey fruit then more vegital all over mouth flavors that taper off slowly as the wine coats and the drys your mouth

Conclusion – Once again, Hans Fahden winery has us scratching our heads at the high-quality/low-price of their wines. We declared their Cabernet Sauvignon to be an underpriced mastepiece and we say the same of this fantastic, youthful Merlot. The only ‘bad’ thing we could say about this wine is that once it is gone, it’s gone. Okay, to be fair, all wines are like this, but when we asked the winery if there would be a future vintage, they (sniff) said ‘nope’! So, dear Operative, stock up, buy us out, grab an ample allocation for this is likey your only chance to try this great wine – from a great winery!

Mission Report:

What follows is our original mission report, in which Agent Red first discovers Hans Fahden’s exquisite wine:

: : San Francisco, California : : Fort Mason : : Family Winemakers of California Tasting event : :

With more than 400 wineries and only two days to taste, I needed to employ my best strategic planning skills. There was simply no way I would be able to taste everything available to me.

Central Command had compiled a list of High Priority Target wineries, and I was tasting wines of all varietals and in all price ranges. Most of them good to great, and only a few real stinkers.

During the latter half of my second day, I initiated the final phase of my tasting which had me tasting only the highest end wines available. This was a phase I was looking forward to and after giving my palate a much needed rest, I reentered the pavilion like a man on a mission. Oh, yeah, I really was on a mission!

After tasting 2 or 3 really superb wines (you’ll enjoy learning of these in a future report), I spotted on of my newest assets, Codename “Shank”, chatting at one of the winery tasting tables.

Shank, so named for his passion for golf, is a wine industry insider. He works for a leading wine industry technology provider and hails from a winemaking family.

I walked over to the table and Shank introduced me to Karen Fahden of Hans Fahden Vineyards. Karen immediately poured me a glass and I took it for a swirl. I was instantly wowed and I explained that I had been seeking out $50+ wines. I thought that this one would fit right in and I asked Karen if the was $50 – or more. I was shocked by her answer. Karen explained that she gets that reaction a lot.

Right there at the table, I negotiated a nice quantity of bottles for our Agents. Any wine that drinks like a $50 bottle but costs less than half that deserves our best attention.

Winery Backgrounder:

The Fahden vineyards and winery consists of 100 acres. It is located at 1200 feet, in a range of the Mayacamus Mountains, on a ridge above Calistoga, California. The property features panoramic views of Mt. St. Helena.

Hans and Marie Fahden, natives of Hamburg, Germany, purchased the property in 1912. They farmed the land growing grapes until the Prohibition was enacted in 1920. After destroying the vines that they had worked so hard to plant and tender, the family planted prunes.

Sixty years and two generations later, Antone and Lyall Fahden decided they liked Cabernet Sauvignon better than prunes and a new journey began to restore the land and make it productive. From 1982 to 1984, the family went to work, planting three vineyard areas. Separated by volcanic outcroppings and forests of Douglas Fir, these vineyards are now interspersed by picturesque ponds and a beautiful wine cave, which was tunneled into a formation of four million year old volcanic ash.

The Hans Fahden Winery became bonded in 1986. The first bottle of wine, which was produced from the 1987 vintage, was sold in 1992. The Hans Fahden Winery became licensed to conduct public tastings in 1996. Today, the Winery produces incredible award-winning wines that please the pallet and the pocketbook.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Dry Creek Valley can be seen in this satellite photo

What the winery says

About This Wine:

When someone offered us a couple tons of this Rutherford fruit to work with, we couldn’t say no. Exclusively cab producers, no more! This yummy merlot is a rich wine with flavors of red cherry and black plum. Balanced with good structure, and a pleasant velvety finish.

About The Winery:

The Fahden Family, now in its third generation as growers, produces Cabernet Sauvignon. The limited production of 2,500 cases per year comes from our estate vineyards, located in the mountains on the western ridge above Calistoga.

Our Sonoma County Mountain Cabernet is always deep in color and distinct in flavor, due to the influence of the volcanic ash soils in which they are grown. There is a unique note of earthiness not found in wines grown on the valley floor. Our first vintage was bottled in 1986. It was made in the traditional style producing a wine which was a chewy, tannic monster. We have spent the last decade developing a more elegant style of wine which is consistent vintage after vintage. This style reflects a balance between the intense character of mountain fruit that ensures aging ability, and makes the wine more approachable for enjoyment during the wine’s youth.

The new style has been further complemented with a program of tannin management and blending a small amount of Merlot to create a more complex mid-palate, pleasing mouth feel and smooth full-bodied finish. The wines are aged predominantly in American oak from Appalachia and Minnesota that adds a hint of vanilla leading to a smooth finish.

Winemaking & Vineyards:

Located at 1200 feet in the Mayacamas Mountains, Hans Fahden Vineyards stretches over 100 acres and features panoramic views of Mt. St. Helena.

Early wines were crafted in the traditional California style and exhibited intense and jammy characteristics. Earthy aromas accented by smoke and cedar overtones distinctive of Bordeaux were direct results of the volcanic soil.

The Fahden Family, now in its third generation as growers, produces Cabernet Sauvignon. The limited production of 2,500 cases per year comes from our estate vineyards, located in the mountains on the western ridge above Calistoga.

Due to the influence of the volcanic ash soils in which they are grown, our Sonoma County Mountain Cabernet is deep in color and distinct in flavor and exhibits a unique note of earthiness not found in wines grown on the valley floor.

Our winemaking style reflects a balance between the intense character of mountain fruit that ensures aging ability, yet it is approachable for enjoyment during the wine’s youth.

Technical Analysis:

Alcohol: 14.5%

Appellation: Napa Valley

Bottling Date: February 12, 2008

Harvest Date: October 22, 2006

Oak: French and American

Release Date: June 01, 2008

Time In Oak: 18 months

Year: 2006

As your agent, we can assist in selecting a common carrier for the shipment of wine that you have purchased and own. The majority of states maintain laws and regulations that control or restrict the importation of alcohol. In all cases, the purchaser is responsible for complying with the laws and regulations, including in particular those relating to the import of alcohol, in effect in the state to which the purchaser is shipping alcohol.