REBECCA SCIANDRI GRIFFIN FROM SCIANDRI FAMILY VINEYARDS TALKS ABOUT THE 27TH ANNUAL CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS!
The family managed the vineyards themselves for several years and today employs one of the top vineyard managers in the valley, Javier Renteria. Before vineyards grew here this was open pasture land. For several years the Sciandri Family sold fruit to several area producers but after tasting their own fruit in the wines, they realized just how nice of a vineyard they really had and it was at that point they decided to make their own wine.
Enter Don Baker a Napa winemaker who has been making wine in the valley for many years including stints at Merryvale and William Hill Estate. He is a UC Davis graduate who has International winemaking exposure with some time spent in Chile helping to develop vineyards and a winery for Jackson Family Wines (Kendall-Jackson). Having tried some of Don’s other wines, the Sciandri Family knew that his palate and winemaking techniques matched their own tastes.
The Sciandri’s want to focus on entirely estate produced wine and as of press time had just released their first vintage, a 2006 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. They have other varietals planted on the property and at some point may release a Bordeaux styled blend. There is a very small block of grapes planted near their house that comes from their family vineyard in Italy. Some of the varietals grown here are probably among only a few of these types of vines growing in the Napa Valley including one that just grows in and around the small region where their family is from. These few vines have special significance to the family, not only are they a connection to their heritage but fruit from these vines goes into all the grapes picked at harvest.
Their hillside vineyards are rocky and the grapes/clonal choices in the vineyard produce small fruit with concentrated flavors. The Coombsville region is located in the southern part of Napa Valley closer to the San Pablo Bay’s cooling influences which means their harvest dates are generally among the last in the Valley. The moderate cooler climate of the south valley ensures a very long hang time. Some years Coombsville growers pick Cabernet Sauvignon even into the first week of November.
Daughter Rebecca hosts wine enthusiasts on the property (by appointment). Besides working full time for her family winery – she was also instrumental in helping to obtain its sub appellation status. Coombsville is a region located approximately east of the town of Napa – which is mostly composed of gentle rolling hills and many vineyards. The soils are volcanic and generally very well drained. A number of premium wineries have vineyards here and most of the vineyards in this region are very small. You are not going to find the typical “Napa tourist” winery in this area.
The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is noticeably dark in the glass with a very elegant bouquet that shows aromas of plum and red cherry along with a note of dustiness. The palate is smooth and balanced from start to finish showing dark fruit – black cherry and blackberry. The finish is anchored by soft smooth delicate tannins that slip over your tongue like silk. One of their winemaker Don Baker’s axioms is to show varietal characteristics without the wine being dominated by oak. In other words as one winemaker told us, these are wines that have that “delicious” factor rather than the “wow” factor. He has made this vintage well in that regards, there is just a hint of oak towards the finish as well as notes of cocoa powder. As a result this is a wine that does very well with food.
Their packaging represents the family’s history. The wine label is blue (how many blue labels can you find on wine bottles – not many) but this color is traditional and it is designed well. The colors are taken from the flag flown in their family’s village in Italy. This village is named Quercia which means Oak – there is an oak leaf on the label with a number of grapes represented, standing for members of the family who are involved in their winery.
You can find their wines locally at V Wine Cellars in Yountville and also Uva restaurant in downtown Napa. They have distribution in Los Angeles mainly because family member Ago Sciandri owns several very well regarded Italian Restaurants (www.agorestaurant.com ) – for more information about Sciandri Family Vineyards visit:www.sciandrivineyards.com
ABOUT THE 27TH ANNUAL CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS
Saturday, May 14th, 2016 6PM
at Warner Bros., “Midwest Street”
The California Winemasters is a perennial Wine Spectator Top 10 Charity Wine Auction set for May 14, 2016 at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. This extraordinary event showcases 50 international chefs and 75 of California’s Finest Wineries. “Winemasters” has raised nearly $29 million in support of the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The CF Foundation is a nonprofit donor-supported organization dedicated to attacking cystic fibrosis from every angle. It’s focus is to support the development of new drugs to fight the disease, improve the quality of life for those with CF and ultimately, to find a cure. The Foundation’s drug development success has been recognized by Harvard Business School and by publications such as Forbes, Discover Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Make your reservations NOW for this wine tasting extraordinaire and spectacular hors d’oeuves dinner!
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