Tudal Family Winery
2005 Tudal Family Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon • Oak Knoll District
California: Napa Valley
What we say
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Mission Codename: Frugal Tudal
Operative: Agent White, with Agent Red
Objective: Secure a value-oriented Napa Valley Cab for our operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Tudal Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Tudal Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
The grapes for this wine come from three vineyards, two of which are Tudal’s vineyards in the St. Helena area at the north end of Napa Valley and adjacent to the famed Rutherford AVA. One of the Tudal vineyards is their ‘Old Vine’ vineyard. The third source is the Clift Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District which is at the southern end of the valley framed by Carneros, Mount Veeder and Yountsville District, and although Cabernet Sauvignon only makes up a small proportion of the grapes grown in Oakville, they are indeed exceptional grapes.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark and deep garnet in color with a slightly purple dark clear core. Its deep color becomes more ruby along the edge and when swirled, alternating sets of slow and fast thin tears ring the glass.
Smell – Medium in intensity with aromas of earthy cherry and black-fruit supported by a base of fresh cut cedar and exotic spices. As this wine opens up, the slightly perfumed nose opens up with a hint of licorice, smoke and herbaceous green pepper.
Feel – The attack on this wine is smooth and dry with plush medium-fine tannins and an easy acidity leading to a soft, round and feminine texture.
Taste – A pleasant balance of earthly fruit, specifically ripe and tart cherries and blackberries with a touch if ripe plum that are layered and well integrated with notes of earthiness, cedar, and spice-box.
Finish – Long with lingering flavors of cedar and its luscious fruit supported by its plush tannins.
Conclusion – The 2005 Tudal Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon shows its classic Napa heritage with a fine balance of classic fruit and a pleasant earthy quality. An exceptional vintage, soft and round in its feel, and drinking great right now, this wine should continue to develop over the next several years. At the price, this wine is an exceptional value and stands up easily to its more expensive neighbors – making this wine perfect for everyday drinking.
Agent Red reporting.
Agent White provided the wine review above, but it was I who developed the asset which led to the acquisition of today’s wine.
My newest asset, Dr. Pinot, has come through once again. This time he has delivered to me a delicious staple Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with a great QPR.
I first became acquainted with Dr. Pinot at a trade tasting in the Napa Valley. I was undercover, posing as a wine writer. Really, I was there to scout and develop new assets. It was apparent that this man knew wine – and the wine business. It was also apparent that, despite the sound of his singularly-focused name, that the man was well versed in all wines, not just Pinot Noirs.
At the end of the tasting, I made small talk with him, subtly probing him to gain full insight into his knowledge, experience and aptness as a potential agent. As people were leaving, we exchanged business cards. I handed him my writers card and I left with his.
Back at HQ, I began the vetting process. Everything checked out and in the process of vetting, I learned that he had recently taken the helm of a very well-known Napa Valley winery, Tudal. This was an exciting addition to the mans overall backstory. I arrange an immediate meeting.
When I reveal my true identity to some people, reactions run the gamut from nonplused to shocked. Dr. Pinot kept his cool and, to his credit, immediately set about to present deep intel on several local wineries. The best intel was that which he provided on Tudal. Which, as you know, led to today’s great Tudal Family Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dr. Pinot will continue to be an important asset, and I will keep you up to date on how he develops. Meanwhile, for an tangible example of how great his sleuthing abilities are, be sure to sample today’s exceptional QPR Napa Valley Cab.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Tudal Family Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
The location of the Tudal Old Vine Vineyard in St. Helena can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Tudal Family Winery, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
About This Wine:
Our Tudal Napa Valley Family Cabernet Sauvignon is dedicated to our family, friends and the many loyal wine enthusiasts who have been enjoying our wines for the past twenty-five years.
This wine, 100% Napa Valley Cabernet, is a blend of three Napa Valley Vineyards, two of which are our own Old Vine Vineyard and our more recently planted River Vineyard which gives this wine the depth and character that is all Tudal.
Tasting Notes: The Oak Knoll District of the lower Napa Valley provided us with a wine from very small yet intense berries that added a concentration of color and flavors. Grapes from a small hillside vineyard on the east side of the Valley rounds out this delightful wine with suggestions of cherries, spice and earthy aromas. Tudal Family Cabernet Sauvignon may be enjoyed now or cellared for many years.
About The Winery:
A New Addition: Tudal Winery welcomes to its ranks Arnold and Alma’s grandson, Matt Tudal Fidge. Matt joined us in late 2007, and will be managing the Wine Club, onsite sales, as well as some winery operations.
A Heartfelt Thanks: Alma and the entire Tudal Family would like to express their heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the flowers, cards, calls and condolences received regarding Arnold’s passing. The outpouring of love is a true testament to Arnold’s life and the impact he had on all who met him. The Family would also like to personally thank you for your donations to the Alzheimer’s Association and the Ronald McDonald Fund.
A Rich Tradition: Tudal Winery was founded in 1974 when Arnold and Alma Tudal retired to northern Napa Valley from Alameda. After 27 years as a vegetable farmer, Arnold purchased ten acres within the shadow of the Mayacamas Mountains with the Napa River running alongside the property.
On the advice of Louis P. Martini, Arnold planted Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and by 1977 he was producing his own “home-made” wines from those vines.
With the 1978 crop there were enough grapes to bottle and sell on a small scale. “We didn’t even intend to go into the wine business” explains Arnold’s son John, who took over the vineyard and winery in 2001 when his parent’s retired.
Arnold Tudal is one of the Napa Valley’s congenial “old-timers,” known as one of the few vintners that baseball great Joe DiMaggio would make a pilgrimage to visit. Also known as the type of “country” vintner who would insist you take home the wine you wanted and send the check later.
The family tells the tale of an elderly French relative who had spent her career as a professional wine taster in Bordeaux. At a family reunion in France, she tasted the 1978 Tudal Cabernet Sauvignon, blind, and swore it was a Bordeaux. In fact, wine industry experts over the years have talked about qualities in the Tudal Cabernets which resemble the qualities in first growth Bordeauxs, including notes of violets, blackberries, blueberries and currants.
Although the name Tudal is Norwegian, the family left Norway for France many generations ago with one family eventually settling in Massachusetts. During World War II, while serving in the Navy, Arnold met the “farmer’s daughter”, Alma Cerruti. When the war was over, they married and Arnold went into the family’s vegetable farming business on Bay Farm Island in Alameda, California. Arnold always like to say that he was a “male war bride.”