What We Say 2005 Small Lot Red Wine
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New Release – Tasting Room Exclusive
Today’s selection from Raymond Vineyards is a brand new release that is only available in the winery’s tasting room. Be the first to get your hands on this wine by ordering today.
Mission Codename: Small But Powerful
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure the latest tasting room only wine from our friends at Raymond Vineyards
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Raymond Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2005 Napa Valley Small Lot Red Wine
Winemaker: Walter Raymond, et. al.
Today’s wine comes from Napa’s oldest winemaking family. Five generations after the Beringer family started making wine in Napa Valley, the Raymond branch of the family continues to make wines of balance and distinction.
While the Bordeaux varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (and Cabernet Franc) are king in Napa Valley, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah also make their presence know through many exceptional wines. The mix of grapes for this wine were sources from vineyards in the St. Helena AVA and Rutherford AVA, both famous for Cabernet Sauvignon with makes up 61% of this blend. The rest of the order includes 25% Merlot, 8% Petite Sirah, 5% Zinfandel and 1% Cabernet Franc.
The winery’s slogan is Powerful Wines – Deep Roots, and after you taste this wine, you’ll understand that its more than a slogan, its a way of life.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Garnet and ruby hues with a slightly thick core and ruby-pink edges. When swirled, thin legs race down the side of the glass.
Smell – Bold and youthful with aromas of black fruit, tar, toasted oak, a slight pine and licorice components as well as floral hints of rose and violets. Be sure to give this big wine some time to open up as you explore all the aromas of this blend.
Feel – This full-bodied wine is rich, dry and spicy with a kick of spice on the tip of the tongue and a minerality that is immediately followed up by firm-tight tannins.
Taste – Young, bright and tangy flavors of blackberry, black cherry, blackcurrant with a big oak component that reveals itself with a touch of toasted vanilla. As this wine begins to open you’ll notice hints of spicy pepper, licorice, cigar tobacco and earthy notes.
Finish – Extremely long with fruit flavors of black fruit and plums, spice and a touch of licorice and tobacco.
Conclusion – Often times, blends hide some of the distinct characteristics of the varietals they contain. In this wine, the blend accentuates the varietal characteristics. The solid fruit from Cab and Merlot, the course minerality of Petite Sirah, spice and pepper from Zinfandel, floral and earthy notes from Cab Franc. This is the kind of wine that allows you to find and explore the various fruits. With a solid oak regimen and expert winemaking, this wine will only improve with age.
I caught up with Krisi Raymond recently, to talk with her about today’s wine. The was no easy feat, mind you. With harvest in full swing, the life of a winemaker is in full-on frenzy mode.
What follows is the transcription of our conversation:
the phone rings
AGENT RED: Go for Red
KRISI RAYMOND: Hi Red, its Krisi Raymond.
RED: Krisi! Hi! Thanks for calling me! I know how busy you must be.
KRISI: I found a free moment so I thought I’d call. I know that I could get called away so…
RED: I appreciate that. What’s happening in your world right now?
KRISI: Well, we’re about half way through the harvest. We’re still waiting for Zinfandel, Syrah and Petite Sirah, but nearly everything else is off the vine.
RED: How were the yields this year?
KRISI: We got lucky and had no damage in our estate vineyards. Some of our growers and friends from other wineries got hit hard. Some lost up to 75% of their crop!
RED: Ouch. Did your location protect you from the frost, or was it the timing?
KRISI: Both actually. We saw little frost, and bloom was also late this year. If the frost had hit during bloom, it would have been more bleak.
RED: Well, that’s good news for you. Listen, I know we don’t have much time, but tell me about your Small Lot Red Wine. We love it, by the way.
KRISI: Thanks! I’m happy to hear that. And, we are happy to let The Wine Spies have the exclusive on the wine. I am sure that your Operatives will love it, too.
RED: I’m sure they will, and thanks so much for allowing us to sell the wine. Its not available anywhere else, except the winery, so were very proud to be showing it!
KRISI: This is our first release of this wine and it was a real labor of love for us. Each component wine was placed in separate barrels, where the sat for 17 months. Blending was done by the entire winemaking team, each of us tinkering and contributing.
RED: The backbone of the wine is Cabernet Sauvignon, which is what Raymond is best known for, right?
KRISI: Exactly. It makes good sense that we would include our Estate Cabernet fruit in this blend.
RED: But the other varietals give the wine a brightness and slight spice that make it come alive…
KRISI: Yes, the Merlot and Cabernet Franc were blended with Petite Sirah for richness and body along with Zinfandel for that slight spicy zing.
RED: A great effort, Krisi. Our Operatives are big red blend fiends so I’m sure they’ll be taking advantage.
a series of tones sound
KRISI: That’s my pager! The vineyards call!!
RED: Thanks, Krisi! I appreciate your time. Let’s catch up again soon to discuss showing another of your great wines!
KRISI: Will do, Red. Agent Raymond – OUT!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Raymond Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Raymond Vineyard & Cellar
Raymond Vineyards & Cellars, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
About This Wine:
61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Petite Sirah, 5% Zinfandel and 1% Cabernet Franc. A richly full-bodied blend that opens with lavender and violet, blackberry, black cherry, clove, pepper and spicy earth aromas followed by luscious flavors of black currant, blackberry, black cherry, black plum, pepper and dark chocolate with notes of tobacco, licorice and vanilla in the long, smooth finish.
This unique red wine is made with fruit sourcd from our St. Helena and Rutherford estate vineyards along with favorite vineyards in both Yountville and Napa. The grapes were hand sorted and tank fermented separately. After fermentation, each wine was gently pressed, racked and moved to both new and seasoned French and American oak barrels for seventeen months of aging. To create this wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the three most popular Bordeaux varietals, were blended with Petite Sirah for added richness and body along with Zinfandel for a hint of spice. The result is a lively, distinct combination never before produced from Raymond Vineyards.
This red wine blend pairs well with a wide range of cuisine. Its concentration and structure will lend toward grilled steaks with wild mushrooms, herb crusted rack of lamb, wild game and marinated pork tenderloin. This wine is also a delicious choice to serve with grilled salmon, rosemary chicken, risotto with fennel sausage and broccolini, hearty vegetable stews and rich pastas.
About The Winery:
Roy Raymond, Sr. and his two sons, Roy Jr., and Walter founded Raymond Vineyards in 1971. This father and sons team worked together to plant and build Raymond Vineyards. Roy, Jr. and Walter still work side-by-side running the winery and producing fine Napa Valley wines.
The Raymond family and Napa’s history are closely linked. Roy Raymond Sr. arrived in the Napa Valley in 1933 and was hired as a cellar worker at Beringer Brothers Winery in St. Helena. He met Martha Jane Beringer and they were married in 1936.
Martha Jane’s grandfather and granduncle, Jacob and Frederic Beringer, had founded their California winery in 1876 after emigrating from Germany. Her father, Otto Beringer steered the winery through the difficult period of Prohibition by producing sacramental wine for religious purposes. Roy Raymond Sr. was selected to help with the long process of rebuilding, after Prohibition was repealed.
Roy and Martha Jane had two sons, Roy Jr. and Walter. Growing up in the Napa Valley, the boys spent many hours with their father in the winery and vineyards at Beringer. After attending college they took their places as 4th generation winemakers in the family business.
After Beringer Winery was sold in 1971, the Raymond family left to start making wine under the Raymond name. They purchased 90 acres just south of St. Helena in the geographic heart of Napa Valley. Their first harvest was in 1974.
A metal farm building functioned as their winery for the first few years, the grapes were unloaded with pitchforks and shovels, and the tasting room and offices were in Roy Sr.’s backyard pool house! The quality of the wines attracted immediate attention from wine journalists, competitions and the public. Raymond wines now earn accolades across the country for their elegance, balance and finesse.
Today, Roy, Jr. is the winery’s Executive Advisor. Walter is President and heads up winemaking and all production activities. Roy Jr. has seen his son, Craig take over duties as Vineyard Manager. Walter’s daughter, Krisi has been involved in sales, marketing and winemaking. With the addition of this 5th generation, Raymond family members oversee all operations, from grape growing and winemaking to sales and marketing.
Roy Sr. continued to be active in the family winery until shortly before his death in 1998. His kindness, generosity, strong work ethic and dedication to excellence continue to be an influence on a daily basis. The Raymond family and staff are proud to carry on this 130 year old tradition of creating fine Napa Valley wines in a close knit family tradition.
Varietal: Red Wine
Appellation: Napa Valley
Acid: 0.65 g/100ml
Aging: Aged in new and seasoned French and American oak for 17 months
Production: 14 Barrels – 362 Cases
Other Notes: Available exclusively in our winery tasting room and from our website store.