Ehret Family Winery
2006 Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon • Bavarian Lion Vineyard
California: Knights Valley (Sonoma)
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Mission Codename: Pride of the Lion
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit our friends at Ehret Family Winery and acquire their delicious 2006 Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Ehret Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Hillside Reserve Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Nick Goldschmidt
The Ehret Family Winery produces small, specialty lot’s of handcrafted wines from their renowned Bavarian Lion vineyard. The vineyard is also a prized source of fruit for a very select group of wineries that also make award-winning wines from the extraordinary fruit grown there.
Sonoma County’s Knight’s Valley sits at the easternmost edge of the County, far from the cooling of the Pacific Ocean. The fact that this high benchland AVA (American Viticultural Area) gets so much hot sun during the growing season makes it the perfect region for growing richly extracted Bordeaux varietals.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark burgundy-purple with dense color that extends all the way to the very edge of the glass where slight violet hues emerge. This wine has a dark but clear core and springy surface and when swirled clusters of slow thin legs creep down the side of the glass to the wine below.
Smell – Bold in intensity, but initially a little tight (give this wine at least 30 minutes to expose itself to you), but once it opens up rich aromas of dark fruit, spice, black licorice and oak are layered over hints of floral violets, classic Cabernet herbal components and a touch of vanilla caramel.
Feel – With excellent weight, this full-bodied wine is expansive on the palate with mouth coating textured tannins and medium, but well balanced acidity and lingering dark minerals that make their appearance in both flavor and into the finish.
Taste – Bold and rich with flavors of cassis, blackberry, ripe plum and other dark fruit meld with mild black licorice, vanilla bean and oak notes. Savory spice and subtle hints of leather and tobacco emerge and adds complexity.
Finish – Extremely long with notes of black fruit, licorice and oak that fade gently and leave behind this wines excellent tannins and minerality hold tight and lingers for several minutes.
Conclusion – The 2006 Ehret Family Winery Hillside Reserve Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold, rich and delicious Cabernet with all the classic aromas and flavors you’d expect. Add to this a fantastic structure that grabs you and holds tight.. Enjoy the ride as this wine’s expansiveness lingers long into the finish and begs for another sip.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Nick Goldschmidt
DATE OF BIRTH: April, 1962
WINEMAKER BIO: Born and educated in New Zealand, Nick Goldschmidt’s career began in 1982 with a research position at the New Zealand Lincoln University where he graduated with Distinction in Horticulture. Nick went on to specialize in viticulture studies at Wagga Wagga, and oenology at the highly acclaimed Roseworthy program, at Adelaide University in South Australia. During his time as a student Nick worked at noted wineries such as Kumeu River, Coopers Creek and Babich. In 1989, after 18 months of winemaking in Australia, New Zealand, California, and South America; including his first harvest in Chile as winemaker for Calitera, Nick returned to California with an amazing range of winemaking experiences.
In 1990, Nick and his wife Yolyn settled down in Healdsburg, California, as Simi’s Associate Winemaker. Nick was promoted to Chief Winemaker 1991 and became Vice President and Chief Winemaker in 1996. Nick spent a total of 13 years at Simi and was one of the driving forces that brought the Simi Reserve Cabernet program to notoriety. In May of 2003 Nick accepted the position of Executive Vice President and Winemaker at Allied Domecq Wines USA. During recent acquisitions Nick has been named Vice President and Executive
Domestic Winemaker for Beam Estates wine portfolio – As winemaker for Beam estates, Nick oversees the production of Clos Du Bois, Buena Vista, Haywood, Garcia, Atlas Peak, William Hill, Gary Farrell and Jakes Fault. In the global arena his work takes him to Mexico, Spain, Argentina and New Zealand where he is involved with blends being imported into the domestic market as well as several domestic brands that are being exported into other global markets.
In 1998 Nick and Yolyn Goldschmidt, established their own line of wines with the release of Goldschmidt Vineyards. The goal of the company was to produce two distinct brands of fine wines, Forefathers and Goldschmidt Vineyards; with the idea of focusing on site specific winemaking from great vineyard sites from around the world. Having produced so many world class wines from around the globe, Nick knew exactly which vineyard sites he would choose to make his wines from.
Under the Forefathers brand Nick and Yolyn produce a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, an Australian Shiraz, and a California Cabernet Sauvignon. For the Goldschmidt Vineyard brand they have created two distinct Cabernet Sauvignons, one from Alexander Valley in Sonoma and the other from Oakville in Napa Valley. The wines Nick and Yolyn Goldschmidt produce are all single vineyard, 100% varietal, handcrafted, small production artisan wines.
Currently, Nick makes wines for Ehret Family Wine. Today’s 2006 Hillside Reserve Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a 93 Points and Editor’s Choice from Wine Enthusiast, is crafted by Nick from the winery’s world-famous Bavarian Lion vineyard in the Knight’s Valley at the Northern end of the Napa Valley, in Sonoma County.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The vineyards in Knights Valey can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
93 Points & “Editors’ Choice” – Wine Enthusiast – “This 100% Cab shows all the hallmarks of an ageable wine. But it’s beautiful now for the complexity of the tannins and the elegant integration of blackberry and black currant fruit with oak. A dramatic, impressive wine that shows you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a terrific California Cab. Now–2012. – S.H. (1/31/2010)”
Silver Medal – 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
About This Wine:
The Cabernet unfolds layers of dark cassis fruit, plum, violets and fragrant vanilla. Its firm tannins and solid structure will allow for maximum cellaring potential 10 to 15 years.
Winemaking: During fermentation skin contact lasted for about 20+ days. The wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels (70% new oak) with medium toast for 20 months. The wine was bottled un-fined and unfiltered.
About The Winery:
Ehret Family Winery is the creation of husband and wife team, Pierre Ehret and Susan Robertson. The winery, based in Calistoga at the northern end of famed Napa Valley, hand crafts small lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, and a red Meritage blend from the winery’s estate Bavarian Lion Vineyard, located in the esteemed Knight’s Valley, just north of Napa Valley, in Sonoma County.
Pierre Ehret is the owner of Sonoma County’s renowned Flamingo Resort Hotel and Conference Center in Santa Rosa, California. Between his ownership of the hotel and his upbringing in Germany, Pierre developed an appreciation and understanding of fine wines, both domestic and European. That appreciation led to establishing the Bavarian Lion Vineyard in Napa Valley.
A Family Affair: Ehret Family Winery is more than just Pierre and Susan – the winery exists for the next generation, their children Alex, Christian, and Isabelle. The Ehret Family is dedicated to creating wines of quality and distinction that will build the winery a reputation for outstanding wines year after year.
A Star Winemaker: To create those outstanding wines, the Ehret Family hired Nick Goldschmidt of Goldschmidt Vineyards, Forefathers Wines, and the excellent wines in the portfolio of Beam Wine Estates (now Constellation Brands’ Vintas BWE). Born and trained in New Zealand, Nick has international winemaking experience from California to Argentina, and from Australia to Europe.
Appellation: Knight’s Valley, Sonoma County, California
Vineyard: Bavarian Lion Vineyards
Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Production: 400 cases
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
TA: 0.58 g/100 ml