Ehret Family Winery
2008 Bella's Blend
Red Blend • Bavarian Lion Vineyards
California: Knights Valley (Sonoma)
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s exceptional red blend deserves special recognition as a Superior wine selection. We issue such alerts whenever we showcase a really outstanding wine.
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Mission Codename: The Return of The Bavarian
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Ehret Family Winery and procure an ample allocation of their new 92 Point 2008 Bella’s Blend, a wine that, vintage after vintage, is a Wine Spies favorite.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Ehret Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2008 Bella’s Blend – Red Wine – Knights Valley, Napa
Winemaker: Nick Goldschmidt
_Winery Backgrounder_: We first infiltrated Ehret Family Winery in early 2010. We instantly fell in love with the people and their wines. Our consistent favorite – and that of our discerning Operatives – has consistently been their Bella’s Blend. Today. we are pleased to be showcasing our third successive vintage of the Bella’s Blend, a 92-point beauty that is deserving of your consideration.
The Ehret Family Winery produces small, specialty lots 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 ruby hues with a deepening core or darker garnet. Color at the edge of the wine shows a beautiful light red. Swirl the wine, and slow-moving legs form low on the glass wall.
Smell – Ripe and sweet, with bright Bing cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry out in front. Just beneath, sweet spice, blackberry, leather, cigar box and dried black tea leaf emerge.
Feel – Cool, soft and light across the front palate, then very quickly grippy – at the front palate. This plush, grippy dryness spreads very quickly from front-palate, rearward, eventually drying the lips and cheeks. As the dryness spreads, the wine takes on a chewy, coated-palate feel that is accompanied by soft black pepper and clove.
Taste – Dark and delicious, with black cherry, spiced blackberry, dark plum, and dried fig. Young sweetwoods, anise, espresso bean, young strawberry, cigar box, dark tobacco leaf, black pepper and subtle clove round out the flavors.
Finish – Super long, with lingering dark fruit that gradually fades to red fruit, spice, and earthy characteristics. As the dryness spreads, the palate is coated with a softly chewy feel. At the end, hints of black pepper and subtle clove appear.
Conclusion – Once again, Ehret really impresses us with their latest flagship wine, their Bella’s Blend. This vintage, which won an impressive 92 Point score from Wine Enthusiast Magazine (who declared the wine to be their official Cellar Selection), is easily the best we have sampled to date. Today’s 2008 Ehret Family Winery Bella’s Blend is a delicious, complex, wine that is drinking beautifully, now, but is destined for greatness as it gains a bit of bottle aging. Pair with a spicy rubbed steak or a hearty, spicy pasty dish. This beautiful blend receives our highest recommendation.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
92 Points & Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast – “Made mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a big, massively structured wine. It offers an explosion of blackberries, cassis, dark chocolate and sweet, caramelized oak.”
About This Wine:
The grapes in this wine were all handpicked from the rocky hillside of Bavarian Lion Vineyards. The slightly higher elevation combined with volcanic soils and warm sunny days create ideal conditions for growing the classic Old World varietals.
The core of the wine is Cabernet Sauvignon, which provides deep, rich flavors of blackberries and cassis, with the Cabernet Franc and Merlot rounding out the flavors with dark plum, dark chocolate, and black tea. The robust profile makes it ideal for big flavors such as grilled meats, spice rubs, and smoke – fire up the grill. As it ages it will mature like a graceful Bordeaux-styled wine, with nuances of tobacco, cedar, and savory spices in the aroma and flavors. Drink now or cellar for 10 to 12 years.
About This Wine:
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: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot
Production: 510 cases
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
TA: 0.636 g/100 ml