One could see passion in the eyes of Nicole Carter, VP (Global PR) as she spoke about the oldest continuously operating Napa winery, the “Beringer” which is in its 137th year. It was at a event at the Grand Hyatt,Mumbai hosted by India’s leading wine importers Aspri spirits to showcase Beringer and Stags Leap wines both coming from the house of Treasury wines.
Beringer founded in 1876, one of around 400 wineries in the 50kmx10km Napa valley has been continually operating ever since. During the prohibition in America it continued to supply to the church for sacramental reasons and soon after in 1934 were also the first ones to open their cellar doors to public; thus sparking ‘wine tourism’ in Napa. “Ed Sbragia the winemaker for over three decades has been working relentlessly to come up with memorable wines from the Napa valley vineyards” said Nicole. We tasted the Founder’s estate Zinfandel 2011 and it was bursting with fruit & jammy albeit with much toned town tannins and Zin’gy acidity! Priced at around INR 2500, this bottle is quite a steal.
Stag’s leap an 1893 winery got fame in the 1920’s as a resort in the picturesque Stag’s Leap district and saw three families own it till the revitalization of the winery in 1971. “Christophe Paubert the winemaker for the last 5 years now is trying to bring in some “European sensibility” to the wine” said Carter, perhaps this goes back to his French origin and more so his experience in the Bordeaux. We tasted the Chardonnay, the Viognier and their Cabernet Sauvignon. It was very unfortunate that the both whites had cooked/oxidative flavours, can give them a benefit of doubt as I have tasted the same wines when clean and they had ‘California’ in them. What stood out was the Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French oak for 24 months; a mix of old and new this wine had a lot to offer on the nose and the palate.
My heart still goes Zin-zin-zin!