We first met Brian and Claudia Fleury at a Del Dotto Estate Winery event (see below) back in 2002. From that meeting we acquired some Fleury Estate Lauren Bryce Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from what I believe was their inaugural vintage release. How surprising then to hear son Ryan speaking of this wine and about he and some of his buddy's acquiring some of the highly allocated select wine for their cellars. Fleury Estate Napa Cab is a favorite of him and several of his colleagues who have extensive collections of numerous releases of this label.
With this as a backdrop, Ryan and I were looking for an appropriate occasion to comparison taste our vintage releases of Fleury Napa Cabernets from our collections. A Sunday family dinner was the perfect occasion.
Fleury Estate Winery owns 50 acres of Napa vineyards dispersed in three vineyards in three appellations at three elevations. Their vineyards are located in Rutherford, St. Helena, and Howell Mountain. They have a small Rutherford production facility that produces about 4,000 cases a year that is all sold direct to consumer at the winery or via their on-line allocation membership.
Ryan spent the day smoking and grilling a prime rib of beef. The Fleury Cab was a perfect complement to the beef, baked potatoes, grilled carrots and peppers and Linda's chocolate cake.
The Lauren Bryce label refers to the names of the two Fleury children.
Fleury Estate Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Lauren Bryce 2000
This was dark garnet colored with medium full body, aromas and flavors of bright vibrant ripe dark berry and currant fruits with notes of cedar, anise, leather, mocha and oak turning to nicely integrated tannins on a lingering finish. This tasted like it was approaching the end of its apex prime drinking window, not likely to improve further with age but not yet showing signs of diminution.
RM 90 points.
Fleury Estate Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Lauren Bryce 2009
This vintage was dark blackish inky colored with full body, rich concentrated bright, vibrant, forward unctuous fruits of sweet ripe dark berry, black raspberry and currant fruits with notes of dark mocha and sweet toasty oak turning to nicely integrated tannins on a full chewy lingering finish.
This was delicious, very much my preferred style and profile, but perhaps too sweet for some folks' palette!
RM 94 points.
Ryan's prime rib shown below. Historic pictures below showing Brian and Claudia Fleury, Dave, Yolanda and Desiree Del Dotto, and Nils and the late Dianne "Candy" Venge.
|Brian and Claudia Fleury back in 2002|
|Brian and Claudia Fleury with Nils Venge, then winemaker and |
Dianne "Candy" Venge..
|Claudia serving at Del Dotto gala event.|
|Hosts for the special event,|
Dave, Yolanda and Desiree Del Dotto.