Our gorgeous 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (long ago sold out), was accidentally blended into a tank of 2016 Touriga Nacional, Tinta Madeira, and Tinto Cao. All the grapes came from Dry Creek Valley, the Cabernet from my usual spot, Ricci Vineyard; and the Portuguese grapes from the famous Raymond Burr Vineyard a few miles north. The blend was aged in old French oak barrels for nearly four years.
We can’t name a vintage on the bottle, with two different vintages; and the blend is too complex to name a varietal. And so…
The wine is OLIVIA. Named for the mother of my friend chef Victor Parra Gonzalez. OLIVIA represents the best of family, food, and friendships… inspiring all of us to be better together than we are alone. In fact, this wine is dedicated to all the women who encourage their children, saying “everything will be O.K.”
This wine, however, is more than just O.K. The color is intense ruby red with multi-layered legs that are thin early and thick much later… all hinting at its broad complexity. The aroma conjures up wet oak and forest floor, warm baking spices, lilac, and a hint of Indian spices like cumin and cinnamon. I also get a wisp of vanilla in the gentle alcoholic aromatics.
The texture is near perfect with balanced tannins and red fruit. Later I taste cola, black licorice, and Far East spices. The finish is long, smooth and powerful; highlighting the balance of fruit acids and wood tannins.
This sensual, spiritual wine is perfect with food… Inspired by all the women I love, I give you OLIVIA.
An experience never to be repeated since the Portuguese varietals were pulled by naïve new owners of the vineyard, the vines are no longer. A rare and special wine.