Monday, November 28, 2011

Volker Eisele's Terzetto ($75) Outranks Joseph Phelps Insignia ($225) in Wine & Spirits Year's Best Cabernet Blends List

Wine & Spirits Magazine just announced its Year's Best Cabernets and Blends list.

While a number of the usual outstanding organic Napa cabs made the list, a standout achievement from my point of view was the long overdue and appropriate recognition for Volker Eisele's Terzetto.

When I first got interested in organically grown wine, Volker was the first person I met who embodied the ideals I imagined a grower and a winery should have. He's been organic since the 1970s. He fought to preserve the valley from development - in fact, he was one of the two main champions of the fight to save Napa from pro-growth forces (which included many famous wineries who have profited mightily from the restricted growth. Read James Conaway's wonderful book Napa for the whole story).

Joseph Phelps is a great winery and world famous for its Insignia blends. It is like a Ferrari, while Volker's outfit is home grown and family run, yet very sophisticated when it comes to growing great grapes and making wine.

If you haven't been to visit the winery, located up in beautiful Chiles Valley, in a remote and gorgeous setting, this might be a good reason to go. (Just give them a call up there).

The winery makes only 3 wines - a Cabernet Sauvignon, a white Bordeaux blend called Gemini (Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc). and the Terzetto (equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot all co-fermented together).

This wine rated 93 points from the judging panel (which blind tasted the wines) consisting of Josiah Baldivino of Michael Mina, Ian Becker of Arlequin and Absinthe, Rebecca Banks of Balthazar in NY, and others.

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