Visiting wine buddy friend TRR working on a collaborative deal, we did a cellar tour where I was assisting Tom in doing some thinning and vintage realignment. We pulled from his cellar this Hollywood and Vine 2480 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for some enjoyable sipping. I obtained several bottles of this wine a decade ago which I split with Tom which he still holds in his cellar. I consumed mine long ago so it was a treat to taste it again to see how it has aged over time.
Hollywood and Vine Cellars is a Napa Valley producer consisting of two guys from the entertainment business who came together to produce hand crafted, ultra-premium wines. The branding “Hollywood and Vine," of course refers to the famous intersection in Los Angeles, the entertainment mecca, but is also refers to the partnership between friends with a mutual love of wine.
The principles of Hollywood and Vine are actor turned director and screenwriter, Doug Barr, who relocated to Napa Valley from Hollywood in the early 1990’s to try his hand at the wine business, with his longtime friend Bruce Orosz.
The flagship label “2480” refers to the street address of the house on the property on Spring Mountain Road, which Doug acquired from the estate of Maynard Amerine, a pioneer in the California wine industry. Amerine (1911-1998) was one of the pioneers in the wine industry and helped found the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, which he joined in 1935. As an author and professor at UC Davis, he taught and mentored many noteworthy names in the American wine business.
Doug found in the old house a copy of one of Mr. Amerine's textbooks he had written. It served as an inspiration and impetus for Doug to take up winemaking. One of Amerine’s books was “Wine: An Introduction for Americans,” published in 1965 with Vernon L. Singleton, one of nearly 400 items that he published during his 86 years.
When starting out, Doug sought out and followed the advised of John Williams, owner of Napa Valley’s Frog’s Leap Winery: “Get the best grapes you can find, get the best oak barrels and get the best winemaker.”
Hollywood and Vine source their fruit from sought after, often hidden Napa Valley vineyards. They recruited talented winemaker Celia Welch, and released their first vintage in 1998. They focus on pedigreed terroir and low yielding clones, applying labor intensive viticultural techniques in the quest to produce extraordinary limited production wines. Their first vintage in 1998 was 140 cases of cabernet sauvignon and 80 cases of chardonnay.
Winemaker Celia Welch studied Enology, the study of winemaking, at the University of California at Daviswhere she earned a B.S. degree in Fermentation Science in 1982. She traveled extensively throughout the winegrowing regions of the Northwest, the East Coast, and New Zealand, and worked in Australia’s Barossa Valley. Returning to Napa Valley, she joined Silverado Vineyards in 1987, became assistant winemaker at Robert Pepi winery and in 1992 began consulting for Staglin Family Vineyard, a small, ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon producer. She has been an independent winemaking consultant ever since working for a limited set of ultra-premium Napa Valley clients, primarily with their own estate vineyards, producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Chardonnay from vineyard sources that include Mt. Veeder, Atlas Peak, Howell Mountain and Carneros, in addition to benchland locations from St. Helena to Napa.
Celia Welch's winemaker notes: "The finished wine displays an abundance of ripe blackberry and black currant aromas, bright plums, sweet vanilla and cocoa tones. The palate texture is bright, rich and mouth-filling, with fresh fruit flavors."
This was dark garnet colored, the room filled with bright expressive fruit and floral aromas upon opening, medium bodied, this was a nicely polished and smooth with, bright expressive black and blue berry and currant fruits with floral, spicy oak and a layer of vanilla and mocha, with hints of tea and cassis on the lingering soft silky tannin finish.
RM 93 points.