Mission Codename Top Secret Valley
For us here at Wine Spies HQ, it was love at first sip when we tasted today’s remarkable wine. Our whole panel flipped over this wine and we’re thrilled to say that we have every last case available. Still, don’t dally. This small production gem may not last the day.
Today’s tiny production Double Eagle 2012 Napa Valley Red Wine started as a wine project that winemaker Vance Rose and co-founder David Grieve (of Grieve Cellars fame) never intended to sell. But the wine was so good, that they released it into the market. And wow are we lucky to have some, today!
You can barely see through this wine with its deep maroon color which transitions to garnet at the meniscus. The nose is very alluring with red peppercorn, roasted red pepper, straw, tomato leaf, plum, and blackberry. On the palate, the rich flavors of the Napa Valley abound with plum, fruitcake, black earth, leather, tobacco, terracotta, and celery. Well structured and formidable, the tannins are soft and offer a layered experience revealing first the earth components and then the fruit which lingers for an extraordinary finish. Braised short ribs with a healthy red-wine reduction sauce demiglace would be the way to go.
This wine was born in a rather mysterious and extraordinarily lovely part of the Napa Valley, in a spot called Lovall Valley. This tiny winegrowing region is a mere 1.25 miles long and less than a half-mile wide. It is accessible only from Sonoma, yet it is located in Napa County. Lovall Valley sits at approximately 650 feet elevation and is bordered on the west by Arrowhead Mountain. Huichica Creek runs the length of the valley bisecting the Grieve Family Vineyard and supplying it with moisture and extending the growing season.
Here’s what the wine press has to say.
92 Points - Wine Enthusiast - “Merlot from the family’s vineyard in Lovall Valley informs the majority of this blend at 44%, with 36% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc in the wine as well. Dry and herbal, it sings in bold notes of red currant, cedar and anise, offering elegance around integrated tannins and a mouthcoating finish. Drink now through 2022.”
90 Points - James Suckling - “Very ripe fruit with strawberry and raspberry pie aromas. Full body, soft and silky tannins and a savory finish. Fruit-forward style. A little dry on the finish. Slightly simple.”
What the Winery Says
2012 Napa Valley Red Wine
- Vance Rose
- Red Wine
- 44% Merlot, Grieve Family Vineyard
- 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena AVA
- 20% Cabernet Franc, St. Helena AVA
- Napa Valley
- October 2012
- 1,924 cases