Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's All In The Family

If you're bothering to read a wine blog then there's a good chance you've anointed your lips with a wine from the Wagner family at some point. Caymus Cab, Conundrum, Mer Soleil, Belle Glos, these all hale from the same gene pool. A multi-generational passion, this Napa family has walked the walk. Patriarch Chuck is making a rare journey around the country reminding us why their wines are special. His father Charlie and mother Lorna (Belle Glos) bought the original acres back in the forties. It's worth visiting the website and reading the history. This is the American melting pot at its best. Best of all, as Chuck talks about his wines and his family it's obvious how important it is to him. He even brought along bunches of grapes from his vineyards, clones 6 and 337. It was every wine nerd's dream seminar. And to close the deal he grows tomatoes worthy of making him an honorary Southerner. Thanks Chuck.

What about the wines? Caymus Cabernet and Cabernet Special Selection are high scoring, sought after, delectable, vibrant Cabernets that flaunt their Napa richness while reining it in with leather, tobacco and cedar like the Old World Cabs. Conundrum is a silky white blend that is sweet and not sweet at the same time. If you look hard enough on their website you can find out what grapes are in the mix. That's your homework. Belle Glos, named after Lorna, is dedicated to elegant Pinot Noir. And the Mer Soleil line is both buttered popcorn Chardonnay and the aptly named Mer Soleil Silver which is unoaked, in fact it's aged in concrete, and is crisply reminiscent of a fine Chablis. Every one of their wines is worthy of your time and hard-earned dollars.

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