Jacuzzi Family Vineyards
California: Sonoma County: Carneros
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Jacuzzi Family Vineyards aptly deserves the Superior Wine Alert recognition. If you are a fan of Bordeaux blends made with a unique California style, then this wine is sure to please.
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT:
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Mission Codename: Tribute to Family Tradition
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure a lovely Bordeaux style blend for our operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Jacuzzi Family Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2005 Valeriano Bordeaux Blend
Winemaker: Charlie Tsegeletos
There is a reason that Bordeaux is the benchmark for all red blends. The skillful combination of the noble grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot results in wines of exceptional character and quality. It is in this tradition and with the intention of honoring the second-born son of Giovanni and Terra Jacuzzi that this wine is named.
The fruit, representing all of the Bordeaux varietals hails from California’s famous Carneros region, known for its mild-cooler temperatures and a climate influenced by the neighboring San Pablo Bay that results in perfectly ripened fruit.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark garnet with dark ruby hues and a deep but clear core. Slightly lighter garnet along the edges and when swirled, this wine shows a slightly thick viscosity and its fast thin legs hold hints of this wine’s color as they streak down the side of the glass.
Smell – Medium in intensity, complex but well balanced and integrated with aromas of mild spice, fresh herbal notes, toasty oak and ripe juicy cherry. As you further explore this wine’s nose, hints of smoke, tobacco leaf and sweet-woods complement this wine’s pleasant bouquet.
Feel – Initially soft and smooth, this full-bodied wine’s finely grained tannins kick in just as you start to fully recognize the array of flavors in this wine. A touch of minerality and balanced acidity add a slightly tangy quality added by the fruit.
Taste -Fresh, ripe and plush flavors of red and black cherry that are well integrated with mild notes of spice; herbal and bramble notes; toasted and fresh oak; and a hints of minerality. Layers of tobacco, cigar-box and smoke add to the complexity of this wine.
Finish – Lingering and clean with flavors of oak, ripe cherry and herbal components that fade in unison and invite further exploration.
Conclusion – The 2005 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Valeriano is a lovely red Bordeaux style blend that shows classic old-world character with a distinct California Carneros flair, represented by the perfectly ripened fruit. Each varietal component of this wine sits in harmony with the others. A great structure that will hold up against your boldest foods, especially a grilled steak, or if you have patience (this spy does not) you can cellar this wine for years to come as it is sure to continue to develop in aromas, flavors and complexity over the next ten years, perhaps even longer.
As a Wine Spy, I have several methods of collecting intelligence and information about wines and wineries. Of all of the myriad ways to gather intel, the best and most reliable is my network of assets.
An asset for those who do not know, is an individual that provides valuable information, sometimes without solicitation and at other times on a just in time basis.
It is through my assets that I have learned of new releases, pending ratings and scores, shortages and more. My assets have allowed me to stay way ahead of the game and without my network, my job would be far more difficult.
I met my latest asset while vacationing near Lake Tahoe, earlier this year. After a day of snowboarding, I found myself relaxing in the hotel hot tub. It was just what I needed.
After a few minutes of soaking, I was joined by another hotel guest. We chatted as we soaked, and when the conversation turned to professions, I revealed that I was in the wine business. He revealed that he, “… works for the FBI” and was an avid wine lover.
He told me that he was a fan of a website called The Wine Spies and had I heard of it. I feigned ignorance. He went on to tell me that he was a regular customer and that he first purchased a wine from The Wine Spies more than a year ago. I asked him which wine it was and he replied, “It was from Jacuzzi Family Vineyards…” He stopped and we both considered our situation – and then we both laughed!
We talked for a while longer and when I got out of the jacuzzi, I slipped a business card into his robe and said my good-bye.
Back in my hotel room, I send a dispatch to my contact at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. Minutes later, I confirmed that we would be giving our Operatives another chance to sample another great Jacuzzi wine for today’s offering.
Just yesterday I got a note from my new friend in the FBI. It read:
“Agent Red: You did a great job of keeping your cover during our talk in Lake Tahoe. Well done. Thanks for all of the great wines. Keep up the covert ops! Also, consider me an asset. I’ll have some great wine recommendations – and insider information – coming soon. Sincerely, Special Agent Jones”
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Jacuzzi Family Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This unique blend displays rich cherry and pleasant herbal flavors. It was gently aged for 24 months and has a tannic backbone that makes for a well-balanced wine that will age gracefully for years to come.
Valeriano is a wonderful blend of traditional Bordeaux varieties that displays rich cherry and herbal characters with a full mouth feel. It will pair nicely with a juicy grilled steak.
Vineyard Notes: These grapes were picked from our different vineyard blocks at our Carneros Estate ranch. This cool climate growing region is influenced by its proximity to the San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The cool temperature extends the ripening time of the grapes which allows them to retain their acid levels and herbal character contributing this wine’s brightness and structure. The vines are planted in well drained volcanic soils of our hillside vineyard.
Production Notes: Grapes are de-stemmed with minimal crushing. Must is pumped to a temperature controlled stainless steel tank and inoculated with a pure strain of wine yeast to ensure complete and healthy fermentation. Grapes are pressed and the juice is moved to a settling tank. Within a few days, 35% of the wine is racked and moved onto new French oak with the balance remaining in neutral cooperage. The wine is racked once more during the course of aging and then bottled.
About The Winery
The Jacuzzi trek to America started in 1907, when Valeriano and Francesco Jacuzzi, the second- and third-born sons of Giovanni and Teresa Jacuzzi, immigrated to Washington to work on the railroad. A warmer climate beckoned and the pair eventually made their way to southern California. Years later, they were joined by four other brothers and eventually all went to work in the aviation industry. Soon they would make American history.
In 1911 their father, Giovanni, a skilled wood worker and vineyard farmer joined them. Two weeks was enough to convince him that his sons would never go back. He then returned to Italy with Valeriano to gather up the rest of the family.
World War I intervened and the trip was delayed until the war’s end. During this time, Valeriano had met Giuseppina and fell in love, married and had their first child. Valeriano’s new family, parents and remaining siblings departed from Italy in 1920.
Soon after their arrival in early 1921, Valeriano started working with his brothers at their Jacuzzi Brothers factory. A tragic crash, over Modesto, of Jacuzzi’s first enclosed monoplane took several lives, including that of Valeriano’s brother, Giocondo. At this time, Giovanni asked his sons to cease making planes. Valeriano moved his family to Northern California and purchased a 161-acre farm in Contra Costa County.
During the depression, Valeriano, with help from his older children, planted a portion of the open farm fields with grapes and in 1936 he applied for a license to make wine for home consumption. At that time he was limited to 200 gallons (approximately 84 cases). The vineyard was planted to Zinfandel, Carignane and Mourvedre and he sold grapes for $30-$35 a ton.
In 1937, Valeriano returned to work with his brothers at Jacuzzi Brothers, Inc. located in Berkeley, CA where they manufactured water well pumps and eventually, the bath and spa that bears their name.
Varietals: 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Malbec, 1% Petite Verdot
Wine Type: Red Wine
Harvest Date: October 4-25
Aging: 16 months
Bottling Date: February 2008
Residual Sugar: .20%