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Five Napa Winemakers from the Treasury Wine Estates Portfolio On What Makes Their Vintages Exception

Time:2019-09-29 08:50wine - Red wine life health Click:

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By Jared Paul Stern Sep. 27th, 2019

Five Napa Winemakers from the Treasury Wine Estates Portfolio On What Makes Their Vintages Exception

Stags' Leap

Treasury Wines Estates (TWE) is one of the world's largest wine companies with some of the most acclaimed and awarded brands in its portfolio, yet it doesn’t feel like a conglomerate because each is allowed to shine on its individual, and considerable, merits. Penfolds, Stags' Leap Winery, Beaulieu Vineyard, Beringer, 19 Crimes, Matua, Chateau St. Jean, Sterling Vineyards, Cavaliere D'Oro and Etude are just some of the better-known labels; the company has access to more than 32,000 acres of vineyards in some of the world’s most sought after winemaking regions. 

Napa, California, is of course one of its most important regions. TWE sources grapes for its extensive U.S. wine portfolio from a mix of owned, leased and grower vineyards throughout California, with wine production facilities also located in California. We recently traveled to Napa to experience and sample some of the top wineries among TWE’s holdings, all of which can be visited and offer on-site tastings. Here six of Napa’s top winemakers tell us what makes their brands exceptional:

Trevor Durling, Chief Winemaker, Beaulieu Vineyard and Hewitt Vineyard

Five Napa Winemakers from the Treasury Wine Estates Portfolio On What Makes Their Vintages Exception

Beaulieu Vineyard


Beaulieu Vineyard, founded in 1900 by Georges de Latour, is one of the most historic properties in Napa Valley. Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve wines are handcrafted from the finest grapes of the vintage, focusing on premier estates in Rutherford, Carneros and other Napa Valley appellations. For more than 100 years, BV has set the standard for rich, classic Napa Valley wines. “This legacy honors the marriage between state-of-the-art technology and gentle, traditional winemaking methods, a combination that enhances the expression of our remarkable vineyard terroir,” the brand notes.

Five Napa Winemakers from the Treasury Wine Estates Portfolio On What Makes Their Vintages Exception

Beaulieu Vineyard


“Our namesake Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has been the benchmark California Cabernet for decades and is recognized as Napa’s first cult cabernet,” Durling tells us. “Stepping into the role as the winery’s fifth winemaker to craft Georges de Latour, it’s an honor to continue the lineage of beautifully crafted wines. What makes our wines so special is that we have several varietals at different price points, each of which show the high-quality of the vintage. Rarity for example has only been released five times over the past 50 years with a new 2016 vintage to be released in 2020. The exclusive wine retails at $1,250 and is only available in magnums with a limited number of bottles produced.”

Five Napa Winemakers from the Treasury Wine Estates Portfolio On What Makes Their Vintages Exception

Hewitt Vineyard


I also have been and remain the Chief Winemaker at Hewitt Vineyard,” Durling adds. “Hewitt’s inaugural cabernet sauvignon was in 2001 and ever since we’ve been crafting single-vineyard, limited-edition wine that truly highlights the exemplary character of our estate without overwhelming it. We harvest the grapes at peak maturity, ferment them in barrel for optimal extraction and oak integration, refining the tannin profile which provides drinkability upon release and long-term aging potential. We then age the wine slowly in our best French barrels and bottle without filtration. Similar to Beaulieu, the classic Rutherford Dust aromas are pronounced, a characteristic of the western Rutherford Bench location, making our cabernets some of the best in the valley.” Having sampled the incredible Double Plus, we have to agree.

Jon Priest, Chief Winemaker, Etude

Five Napa Winemakers from the Treasury Wine Estates Portfolio On What Makes Their Vintages Exception

Etude


Established in 1982, Etude was “founded on the philosophy that winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before harvest, and that superior grape growing allows our winemakers to craft wines of exceptional varietal expression and finesse.” The winery continues to build upon its established legacy of exemplary Pinot Noir and other wines “reflective of the profound influences of the land and the seasons, as well as the hand of its stewards.” Though modeled after the best in Burgundy, Bordeaux and Alsace, these wines “clearly speak to their New World origins, offering rich, concentrated fruit with elegant structure and an opulent mouthfeel for the reds, and lifted, delicate fruit with vibrant acidity and freshness for the whites,” they note. 

Five Napa Winemakers from the Treasury Wine Estates Portfolio On What Makes Their Vintages Exception

Etude


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