Behrens Family Winery is based in St. Helena in the Napa Valley section of California. The boutique winery produces limited quantities of blended red wines and a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The owners of the winery are Les Behrens and Lisa Drinkward. The name Erna Schein is a dedication to Les’ mother.
The 2007 Erna Schein Jersey Boy was red blend, comprised of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 14% Syrah, 6% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. The wine’s labeled ABV was 14.5%. There were 384 cases of this vintage produced. The back label of the wine declared it “California Red Wine”.
Last month, we joined our neighbors (yes, the neighbors) for dinner at Drew’s Bayshore Bistro. Drew is one of the finest chefs in the Northeast and his restaurant is a BYOB. I arrived at Drew’s with some Robert Biale Zins in tow. They are always a great match for Drew’s Cajun style. My neighbor popped out a bottle of 2007 Jersey Boy. I had never heard nor tasted the wine before and it turned out to be quite good. Unfortunately, there were no notes taken that evening.
I inquired where he procured the said Jersey Boy, and promptly set about obtaining a bottle to review in greater detail.
The town of Healdsburg, in Sonoma County, California, is the home to Ramey Wine Cellars. The winery produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blends, as well as several Chardonnay selections.
The 2008 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley was 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. The wine was aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels (63% new, 37% old) for 24 months. The label listed ABV was 14.5%.
It had been a year or so since I last tasted a Ramey Cabernet. I came across the label while shopping in a local discount beverage store.
In the interest of research, I thought it time to revisit the wine.
The town of Paso Robles, in the Paso Robles appellation of California, is home to Justin Vineyards & Winery. The winery’s primary focus is the production of two Bordeaux blends, one using Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, and the other using Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In addition to this, they use a number of different varietals (Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay to name a few) to produce smaller quantities of wine.
The 2008 Justin Vineyards & Winery Isosceles was a red blend, composed of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine was aged in French oak barrels (65% new, 35% old) for 24 months. The label listed ABV was 15%.
Recently, I was dining at Salt Creek Grille, in Rumson NJ, when the manager approached me. He mentioned they had one bottle left of the 2008 Justin Isosceles. Previously, I had neither heard of the vineyard, nor tasted the wine. On his recommendation, I decided to give it a try.
I was glad I did.
– Taken by me at a local tavern in June 2012.
On the 28th of June 2012, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in New York City hosted a winemaker dinner for Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars. Attending from the wineries were David Duncan, President and CEO, and Daniel Baron, the head winemaker. The dinner was part of the Silver Oak Tower Tour 2012, celebrating 40 years of Cabernet Sauvignon production by Silver Oak.
Silver Oak produces two Cabernet Sauvignons. One is produced with grapes harvested from Napa Valley, while the other uses grapes from Alexander Valley. The Duncan family, Silver Oak’s owners, established Twomey in 1999 when they acquired the Soda Canyon Ranch in Napa Valley. Twomey Cellars produces a Merlot, four types of Pinot Noir, and a Sauvignon Blanc.
I found out about the wine dinner by way of my neighbors, who asked if there would be interest in attending. Let’s see…Del Frisco’s, second best steakhouse in New York City, check. Silver Oak, premier producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, check. Great wine and great food with great friends, check. That decision didn’t take very long.
Rockledge Vineyards is located in the St. Helena section of Napa Valley in California. The winery produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot.
The 2009 Rockledge Vineyards The Rocks Cabernet Sauvignon was a red blend composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot (percentages unavailable). The label listed ABV was 14.5%.
I first tasted The Rocks at a wine tasting at Restaurant Nicholas in 2011. I couldn’t recall my exact impressions so I decided to give the wine another try.
Cameron Hughes purchases excess wine inventory from wineries and resells them at discounted prices under the Cameron Hughes label. The company’s purchases are accompanied by non-disclosure agreements, whereby Cameron Hughes cannot reveal the name of the winery from which they made the purchase.
The 2009 Cameron Hughes Lot 278 Meritage was composed of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 11% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. The wine was sourced from the Spring Mountain District in Napa, California. It carried an ABV of 14.2%. There were 3200 cases of this wine bottled.
While I knew of Cameron Hughes, I had never tasted any of their wines. This situation was remedied when I found a bottle of Lot 278 in a local beverage store.
Chimney Rock Winery produces three red wines, two white wines, and one rose wine from their vineyards in the Napa Valley section of California.
The 2007 Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a red blend. The varietals used to produce it were Cabernet Sauvignon (79%), Merlot (16%), Cabernet Franc (3%), and Petit Verdot (2%). The wine was aged for 18 to 20 months in French oak (50% new and 50% old). This vintage carried a label listed ABV of 14.2%.
I came across this wine in a local wine store several years ago. While it is clearly not your typical Napa Cab, it was a most enjoyable bottle of wine.