Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards
2006 Morris Fay Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Morris Fay Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Alexander Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: 9 Lives
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure a exceptional budget-minded Cabernet for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2006 Cabernet Sauvignion – Morris Fay Vineyard – Alexander Valley
Winemaker: John Pedroncelli
Today’s Cabernet Sauvignon comes to us from one of Sonoma County’s most experienced winemaking families. Grown in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, today’s wine is a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report, below, for the the complete scoop on today’s wine
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark but clear deep ruby with a darker garnet core. Garnet hues shine through when this wine is held to the light as the color fades to a light ruby red along the edges. Skinny legs appear slowly after swirling, before they race down the glass
Smell – Bold and perfumy in intensity with aromas of bright red fruit over black currant, ripe blackberry, pepper and subtle clove. Hints of dusty bramble sit beneath the fruit along with a subtle mineral component
Feel – Full-bodied, smooth and soft at first – then the wine shows a slight tanginess with spice that reaches the edges of the palate. Solid but still soft tannins support classic Alexander Cab flavors right through to the finish
Taste – Flavors of both tart and ripe red fruit including smoky Bing cherry, ripe raspberry, blackberry and ripe plum sit atop a base of softly toasted oak, black-pepper spice, herbal bramble-brush and fresh herbs
Finish – Medium long in length, with lingering tart plum, blackberry, raspberry, toasted oak and pepper that are well supported by the structure of the wine
Conclusion – An impressive wine, especially for the low price. We appreciated it for its depth, delicious flavors, tender feel and rush of perfumed aromatics. Take some time to allow this wine to breath. After a spell exposed to the air, the feel of the wine softens and additional flavors are also revealed, making the tasting of the wine a more rich and compelling experience. Take your time with this wine. Enjoy it on its own or with a great meal. It is well suited to both!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: John Pedroncelli
POB: Dunsmuir CA
Wine Education: SRJC and summer short courses at UC Davis
California wine job brief: Pedroncelli Winery from 1946-present; winemaker in 1949
Winemaking Philosophy: To produce the best wine possible to reflect the variety and appellation it is grown in.
Signature Varietal: Zinfandel
Career highlight: Traveled/visited most of the winemaking countries of the world.
Quote: “World class wines are made in the vineyard.”
AGENT RED: Greetings, Jim. We are thrilled to be showing your Morris Fay Cabernet Sauvignon today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
JIM: My pleasure to work with you, once again, Agent Red. We enjoy our Wine Spies missions!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
JIM: Growing up in a winemaking family
RED: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
JIM: In the classroom, from peers, and from the ground up—beginning in the vineyard.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
JIM: To produce world-class consumer affordable wine to enjoy on a daily basis
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
JIM: Giovanni Pedroncelli, my father
RED: How long have you been making wine?
JIM: Since 1949
RED: Who do you make wine for?
JIM: Knowledgeable wine drinkers
RED: Tell me, what makes the Dry Creek Valley, where Pedroncelli Winery sits, so special?
JIM: weather, soil and the individual grape growers
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
JIM: Attend a good Agricultural college plus work experience in the vineyard and winery
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
JIM: I consult with our winemaking team that includes our assistant winemaker, Montse Reece, cellarmaster Polo Cano, and vineyard manager Lance Blakeley.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
JIM: Good balance of acid and tannin, good flavor and long lingering finish. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard in Alexander Valley that was established in the 1970s, from a family who has farmed the property since the late 1800s.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
JIM: Vennison stew or for mainstream meals, I like New York Strip steak grilled
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
JIM: Tennis was a passion of mine for many years.
RED: What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
JIM: With an open mind and a view that wine really has no boundaries – there are so many choices when it comes to wine – if you don’t try it, you’ll never gain experience.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
JIM: I’d like to taste our first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon from 1966
RED: What is good piece of wisdom that you can share with us today?
JIM: I have seen quite a bit of our little corner in Dry Creek Valley change, for the better. I’ve learned you need to ride the waves of the industry, the ups and downs, in order to succeed.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
JIM: Thanks, Red!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
“Deep garnet red in color, our Morris Fay Cabernet Sauvignon is rich in aromas of cherry, plum, and toasty oak. Forward tannins create richness on the palate followed by long-lasting spice and fruit ﬂavors lingering on the ﬁnish. This Cabernet typiﬁes the richer, spicier ﬂavors of Alexander Valley fruit. Ready to drink now or cellar for 10 more years.”
Winemaking: The fruit was harvested on October 16. The fruit was crushed into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The frequent pumping of juice over the skins (known as the ‘cap’) during fermentation gives the young wine a substantial increase of ﬂavor and color. Following fermentation, the wine was transferred to medium toast French and American oak barrels to age for sixteen months. This length of time gave the wine a chance to develop smoother tannins and take on a subtle spiciness from the oak.
Morris Fay Vineyard: Located east of the winery in northern Alexander Valley, near Geyserville, the Fay family has maintained vineyard there for over 50 years. This appellation has been recognized as one of California’s
ﬁnest sites for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Morris Fay began selling fruit to the Pedroncellis in the 1970s and is a prime source of Cabernet Sauvignon today. The wines made from this vineyard have consistently revealed distinct spice and singular fruit qualities.
About The Winery:
Since 1927, when John Pedroncelli, Sr. purchased vineyard and a small winery in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, two elements remain unchanged: the exceptional place the Pedroncelli family farms vineyards, and the family’s dedication to making fine wines.
- From selling grapes to home winemakers during prohibition in order to keep the vineyards going,
- to growing a small base of business during the 1930s and 1940s,
- to the second generation joining their father: son John becoming winemaker in 1948 followed by Jim in 1955 as sales director,
- to 1963 when the winery was officially purchased by John and Jim from their father,
- to growing the line of wines in the 1960s with vineyard expansion and diversification,
- to the boom time of the 1970s and 1980s along with many changes and additions to our sales base including national sales and export,
- the third generation coming on board and vineyard replanting in the 1990s
- to the 21st century where the fourth generation is coming up the ranks…
- and it is still a family owned business.
It all adds up to tradition, heritage and a family of wines you can enjoy with confidence.
Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 16 months French and American Oak
Bottled: May 2008