Saturday, February 9, 2013

Marita's Vineyard

Our first stop after reaching Napa this year was at Marita's Vineyard.  We had heard about this amazing place from some friends in Dallas and made an appointment for a tasting.

It's a bit off the beaten path but we eventually found ourselves at the Montes home in Coombsville.  After being ushered through the house we were seated on a lovely patio set up to taste some wine and pair with tapas.  Mrs. Montes busied herself with serving us tasty tapas treats while we sipped wine and listened to her winemaker husband and daughter, Mara, tell the story of how Marita's came to be.  We started off with their red wine called Soma and finished up with their flagship wine, Marita's.  

Bulmaro Montes worked for Joseph Phelps for 30 years, retiring in 2003.  Not content to sit back and enjoy his retirement, he decided to buy some land and begin growing his own grapes.  His dream was to make Cabernet Sauvignon "his way".  He also wanted to release the wine only when he really thought it was ready.  He planted his vines in 2002 on 2.6 acres and his wine is only made with grapes that he grows.

Soma was a first run wine that did not turn out the way Bulmaro envisioned.  However, it was very good so the family decided to create a second label called "Soma" and try again for the perfect Cab.  The result was Marita's.  It's truly a Cabernet for the Cabernet lover - bold and smooth with a great finish that stays with you.

This wine is so outstanding that I would recommend this be a stop you make at the END of a day of tastings and not at the beginning.  All other Cabs are likely to pale in comparison after you've had this wine.

We ended up joining the wine club and our first shipment arrived yesterday.  That is definitely some wine that will be saved for special occasions!

A trip to Marita's Vineyard is not just a wine tasting - it's a wine experience.  To visit the home of the winemaker, listen to him explain his winemaking philosophy and drink wine with him out of his private cellar was tremendous and one of the highlights of our trip this year.

Here are some facts about the various Marita's releases from their website:

Appellation/AVA:  Coombsville, Napa Valley
Fruit Source:  100% MARITA´S VINEYARD
Vineyard Size:  2.6 acres
Vineyard Age:  Vineyard planted in 2002
Topography:  The unique vineyard setting is a hillside slope.
Soil:  Well-drained rocky and stone/gravel soil.
Root Depth:  Shallow - Average 24 to 36 inches. (Shallow root depth has a major impact on fruit quality by concentrating the fruit flavors.)
Varietal/Blend:  100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging:  Wines are aged 18 to 20 months in French oak.
SOMA 2004 - Never sold or released - Available for vertical tastings at vineyard only (70 cases made)
MARITA´S VINEYARD 2005 - 225 cases
SOMA 2005 - 230 cases
MARITA´S VINEYARD 2006 - 225 cases
SOMA 2006 - 265 cases
MARITA´S VINEYARD 2007 - 225 cases (Not yet released)
SOMA 2007 - 230 cases (Not yet released) 

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