VOLUME 9, ISSUE 38
February 22, 2014
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:
Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard: A Description & Vertical Tasting Tasting Aged Williams Selyem Pinot Noir: Bottled Surprises Pinot Noir “Clone 95”: Dick Erath Revives an Old Treasure Failla Wines Sips of Recently Tasted Wines Hearty Burgundy Celebrates 50 Years Tasting Rooms Threatening to Overtax Healdsburg and Sonoma Pinot Briefs
Cuvaison’s historic winery is situated on the historic Silverado Trail in northern Napa Valley. In 1969 Thomas Cotrell and Thomas Parkhill, both Silicon Valley engineers, founded Cuvaison with a 27-acre vineyard at the winery’s Calistoga location. New York publisher Oakleigh Thorne purchased the winery in 1974 and then appointed the Swiss-born Philip Togni as Winemaker. In 1979, the Schmidheiny family of Switzerland purchased Cuvaison as well as 400 acres of prime vineyard land in the Carneros region in southern Napa Valley. The Fall of 1998 marked the purchase of the historic 170-acre Brandlin vineyard on Mt. Veeder. Today Cuvaison has the historic winery in Carneros as well as a new facility in the heart of the Carneros estate.
Known for its Cabernet Sauvignon in the past, Cuvaison is now equally adept at Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Cuvaison has been producing Pinot Noir from their estate vineyards in Carneros since 1987. With a renewed commitment to quality and a new winery in the vineyard specifically constructed for the production of Pinot Noir, the wines have gone from good to great. Cuvaison farms 315 acres of the 400-acre Carneros estate, mainly to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Winemaker Steve Rogstad crafts 4,500 cases of Pinot Noir annually, divided into three estate grown bottlings - Carneros, Mariafeld, and Block F5.
Total annual production is 48,000 cases with 100% of wines estate grown. There are tasting rooms in Calistoga (North Napa Valley) and Carneros (South Napa Valley), both open daily.
Cuvaison has tasting rooms in Calistoga and Carneros. The Carneros tasting room is new and airy with large windows offering views of Milliken Peak. Much of the wine is widely distributed and is sold on the website.
Articles About Cuvaison Winery
2012 Cuvaison Carneros Vin Gris of Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., $19. The generous yields of 2012 allowed production of this saignée fermented in a stainless steel tank. · Moderate pink coral color and clear in the glass. Aromas and flavors of fresh strawberries and melon in a crisp, clean and refreshing style of rosé. An ideal aperitif or accompaniment to summer barbecue fare. Score: 87. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »
2011 Cuvaison Estate Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $38. 100% estate grown blend from twenty distinct blocks in the Cuvaison Estate Vineyard. Average age of vines is 14 years. Each block is vinified separately using open top fermenters, basket pressed and aged 11 months in 33% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark red cherries and berries with hints of smoky oak and spice. Very smooth and polished on the palate with an array of flavors including raspberry and plum with accents of anise, grilled mushroom and oak. Bright acidity and a hi-tone finish. Score: 89. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »
2011 Cuvaison Estate Grown Carneros Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.80, TA 0.56, $38. Cuvaison’s flagship Pinot Noir is a blend of wines from 20 distinct blocks in the Cuvaison Estate Vineyard. Average age of vines is 14 years. Each block is vinified separately using open top fermentation, gentle punch downs, basket pressing and French oak aging (11 months in 33% new oak barrels). · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Impressive aromatic intensity offering scents of dark red cherries and berries, sandalwood, balsam and baking spices. Velvety smooth and polished on the palate with a delectable array of vivid fruit flavors including raspberry and plum with accents of anise, mushroom and earth and the right touch of oak. Highly typical of its Carneros origins and an impressive achievement in this challenging vintage. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »
2011 Cuvaison Spire Carneros Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 550 cases, $48. Sourced from a block close to the tasting room planted to clone 115. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromatics offer welcoming scents of black raspberry jam, spice and rose petals. Soft and silky on the palate, with a delicious mélange of wild berry and black cherry flavors with beautifully integrated oak. This wine is clearly special, offering impeccable balance and a finish that really sings. Score: 92. Reviewed September 5, 2013 ARTICLE »
2007 Cuvaison Clone 115 Carneros Pinot Noir
(barrel sample) · Inky, candied oak on the nose, plenty of grip, flashes of alcohol, lots of fruit and an expanding finish. Promising, but not ready for prime time. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »
2007 Cuvaison Estate Carneros Pinot Noir
5,557 cases, $30. Cuvaison produces Pinot Noirs exclusively from its 400-acre vineyard in Carneros. The winery has been owned by the Schmidheiny family of Switzerland since 1979. A new winery devoted to Pinot Noir was built in Carneros and completed for the 2004 vintage. A tasting room on site is open by appointment. Steven Rogstad has been the winemaker since 2001 and he has consistently produced masterful Pinot Noirs. He also crafts the Cuvaison Block F5 Pinot Noir, a more intense expression of the winery’s Carneros fruit. The wines are available on the website and widely distributed. · Appealing mix of loamy and spiced cherry and berry aromas with impeccable balance. The tannins are silky, the richness is evident but understated, and the whole package drinks smoothly. Reviewed April 18, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Cuvaison Block F5 Carneros Pinot Noir
Very Carneros, pretty in the best sense of the word. Red cherry and dirt, sappy, substantial and delicious although quite tannic. Peacock tail finish. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 Cuvaison Block F5 Carneros Pinot Noir
Cuvaison has been producing Pinot Noir from their estate vineyards in Carneros since 1987. With a renewed commitment to quality and a new winery in the vineyard specifically constructed for the production of Pinot Noir, the wines have gone from good to great. Winemaker Steve Rogstad crafts 4,500 cases of Pinot Noir annually, divided into three estate grown bottlings - Carneros, Mariafeld, and Block F5. · $50. This is the best Cuvaison Pinot Noir I have ever sampled. A serious wine with earth, toast and dusty black cherry flavors and appealing notes of minerality and spice. Very tasty. Reviewed August 6, 2007 ARTICLE »
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