Yates Family Vineyard
2005 Alden Perry Reserve
Red Blend •Napa Redwoods Estate
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
Superior Wine Alert:
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 even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Yates Family Vineyard.
Mission Codename: The Yates of Heaven
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Penetrate the private archives of the Yates Family and retrieve a quantity of their superior 2005 Alden Perry Reserve for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Yates Family Vineyard
Wine Subject: 2005 Alden Perry Reserve
Winemaker: Michael Yates
Backgrounder: Agent Red is a big fan of great red blends. Having fallen in love with wines made on the slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, in the Mount Veeder Appellation, Agent Red’s search was a short one. When we sent him on today’s mission, he immediately gravitated to Yates Family Vineyard’s Alden Perry Reserve, a wine that the winery’s own faithful fans by up with great fervor. Today, Agent Red returns from Yates with a small and secret stash of the 2005 Alden Perry Reserve in hand. Read his tasting notes and mission report below for full details.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark garnet to ruby red, with bright ruby edges and a tight, fast-settling surface that leaves behind thin and tightly-packed legs that take a while to emerge
Smell – Deep perfumed blackberry, blueberry, cocoa, anise, baking spices and soft pine tar
Feel – Round and smooth, initially, then then slightly grippy and mouthcoating as soft tannins lead to a slight dryness
Taste – Concentrated dark fruit with big sweet & dusky tart flavors of dark cherry, smoky plum, coffee, salt, licorice, herbs and mild oak
Finish – A big finish that starts dry, goes wet and then finally ends dry, with sweet flavors and medium tannins fall off at a medium pace
Conclusion – It is very easy to see why this is the best-loved wine among Yates Family Vineyard devotees! Rich, lush, delicious and tender, this wine is drinking just beautifully at the moment. Fans of big and rich red blends will appreciate the complexity of the wine. Those looking for a flexible partner to pair with holiday meals will also be very pleased; This wine has great acidity and holds its flavors in check, making it an excellent companion to most holiday meals.
Agent Red first visited with the Yates Family earlier this year. At that time, he discovered their wonderful estate grown Cabernet Franc. That same superb Cabernet Franc is a component of today’s excellent red blend from Yates. For your enjoyment, we present Agent Red’s initial report on Yates Family Vineyard:
Okay, so today’s report is less report and more oratory in praise of Cabernet Franc – and of this particular Cab Franc.
One of the genetic parents of Cabernet Sauvignon (the other parent is Sauvignon Blanc), Cabernet Franc has been called a real wine lover’s wine. To me, Cabernet Franc is the perfect wine – but only if you find yourself tasting a great example of the varietal.
Fans of the varietal hold an ardent reverence for the grape and for the delicious wines which spring from it. They find the wine to be the most universally pairable with foods (due to its high acidity) and they enjoy drinking it on its own. Unfortunately for fans of Cab Franc, locating great pne can be a hellish experience. Enter Me!
When I am out on my missions, I am always on the lookout for Cabernet Franc and I make it a point to try them all. With only 2000 acres planted in California, the varietal is hard to find. When you do find Cab Franc planted here, it is because it is usually used in improving the flavor and drinkability of other wines, including those called “Cabernet Sauvignon”, which only needs to contain 75% Cabernet Sauvignon to be called one.
Another reason that you see so few Cabernet Franc wines featured here is that not many pass my own personal taste test. Today’s wine passes with flying colors. This is a a big, chewy, delicious, yet soft, balanced and perfect example of how great a Cab Franc can be.
I was thrilled when The Wine Spies were allowed to raid the private Library of the Yates Family Vineyard, in search of wines to bring to our Operatives. When I surfaced with the 2003 and 2004 vintages of their Cabernet Franc, I knew that me and my fellow Wine Spies were in for some fun.
I convened a small spy-tasting at one of our safehouse locations led a blind tasting. Only I knew that the two wines were from Yates and after I wrapped the bottles in paper and mixed them up, I had no idea which was which.
After much ‘ooohing’ and ‘ahhhhing’, we all agreed that “Wine A” had a softer, more elegant and balanced feel than “Wine B”. It was a close call, but Wine A, the 2003, was the winner of the night. After revealing the identity of the wines, we all agreed that the 2004 was a great drink-now option, but with a little more bottle age, would only improve. For these reasons, we chose the 2003 and are making a small quantity available to our Operatives today.
Keep an eye on my future reports as I am certain that we will feature other great wines from Yates Family Vineyard in the future!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Yates Family Vineyard and surrounding vineyards of Mt. Veeder can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Yates Family Vineyard, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
About This Wine:
Blue core with a red rim in color. Big high tone aromatics of licorice, sassafras and allspice, with a hint of white pepper. On the palate beautiful flavors of black cherry, Bing cherry and anise on the entry are complemented by a suggestion of clove, cinnamon and ginger which carriers long into the finish. The broad flavors with rich berry fruitiness and stone fruit, give the impression at times of apricot nectar and at times blackberry jam.
After a very wet winter, March came in dry and mild which resulted in normal bud break. April began with lots of rain and cool weather which delayed the flowering of the vines. The beginning summer months had mild temperatures followed by warm, picture perfect weather. These conditions allowed for an extended hang time that let us and not Mother Nature dictate harvest. We started picking October1st and finished November 3rd.
About The Winemaker:
Mike grew up in the Bay Area in a large, close-knit family. He graduated from Chico State University in 1977 with a B.S. in Agriculture, specializing in Trees and Vines – and a dream that one day he would be involved in running the family ranch. Fostering Mike’s love of the land was the summer vacations spent working in the vineyards.
His love for wine was ingrained in him at an early age because of his father, Alden Perry, and his passion for fine wines. Alden traveled the world extensively and his passion developed for French Bordeaux wine. You can see the influence in Mike’s style of winemaking.
About The Winery:
The Yates Family Vineyard is located on the slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, in the Mount Veeder Appellation in an area historically known as the “Napa Redwoods.” In 1880, Nicholas Streich, a German immigrant brought his two oldest sons with him to farm the land for grapes and to make wine. They built a small, wood and stone winery in 1880, and in 1902 added on a larger stone facility. Today, the “ghost winery” remains in remarkable condition – an exceptional example of an original gravity-flow winery.
The 35 acres of steep, hillside vineyards soar to over 1,200 feet elevation. Each block or section, with its own particular sun exposure, microclimate and volcanic soils, imparts unique characteristics to the grapes. A temperate growing season ensures thorough ripening and uncommonly rich, concentrated fruit flavors. Hand-farmed terraces, small yields, and a near-perfect combination of climate, rock, and soils contribute to the exceptional quality of the grapes.
Since 1950 the Yates family has farmed the land, made wine for family and friends, and supplied local wineries with their mountain grapes. The first commercial release (1999) in May 2002 under the Napa Redwoods Estate label was very well received. It is still sought after by the cognoscenti. 1999 and 2000 produced only about 350 cases, roughly ½ varietal Merlot and ½ Alden Perry Reserve, a Cabernet Sauvignon based ‘Bordeaux blend’.
2001 brought production up and a new wine, a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2002 production was up again and a 4th wine, Cabernet Franc, introduced. With the great 2004 vintage our production was down to only 709 total cases and only 3 wines, all single varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
This vintage 2005 will prove to be one of the greatest for Napa mountain appellations. We introduced our new label Yates Family Vineyard and are back to 4 wines including; the Alden Perry reserve and our classic Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition we have created 2 entirely new wines Cheval and Fleur de Veeder.
Yates Family Vineyard shows the classic Mt. Veeder character, great aromatics of exotic floral, warm brown spice and deep stony minerality. These elements all contribute to the extremely long-lived wines from this vineyard.
Production: 168 12-bottle 750 ml cases
Bottled Date: May 2007
Composition: Composed of our estate grown red Bordeaux varietals
Appellation: Mount Veeder – Napa Valley
Elevation: 1000-1200 feet
Alcohol: 14.5 %
Cooperage: Aged for 18 months in 25% new French Oak