Sunday, September 20, 2020

Goldschmidt Hilary Napa Oakville Charming Creek Cabernet

Goldschmidt Hilary Napa Valley Oakville Charming Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 

We hosted wine buddy, fellow Pour Boy Dr Dan and Linda for a wine dinner. We came across this label, Oakville, single vineyard designated Napa Cabernet, namesake to Dan's daughter, so we picked it up for the occasion. 

On further investigation of this label we learn it is the product of Yolyn and Nick Goldschmidt,  owner/vintners, with Nick, the winemaker. Hailing from New Zealand, Yolyn and Nick have spent time living and working in the wine areas of New Zealand, Australia and South America. They operate out of winery offices in Healdsburg from where they operate Goldschmidt Vineyards, a "'vehicle' by which Nick and Yolyn present their innovative way of wine making and wine presentation. There are two brands under their portfolio – the prestigious Goldschmidt Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon label, and the international Forefathers label', according to their website'.

"The Goldschmidt Vineyard label is a program designed to showcase single vineyard source wines from both the Alexander Valley and Napa Valley Oakville appellations. The goal is to create wines that highlight the distinct characters, benefits and attributes derived from these site specific harvests. Goldschmidt Vineyards Cabernets are crafted with the best possible resources to achieve exceptional richness, quality and balance – the hallmarks of world-class wines."

I deduce they are negociants, of sorts, procuring excess fruit from numerous sources and crafting their own wines under their own series of private labels. Several of the wines are  named for their children, which they furthr explain that, "Joined periodically in the field by their five children, the Goldschmidt expertise is being passed down to the next generation, as evidenced in the wines released under the labels Chelsea Goldschmidt, Hilary Goldschmidt and Katherine Goldschmidt."

This label is sourced from the Oakville district in Napa Valley, so it was a fitting comparison to the Plumpjack Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon that we also served this evening

Goldschmidt describes the Oakville appellation, "where the coolness of the south meets up-valley warmth in perfect equilibrium. Oakville isn’t too hot; it isn’t too cold. It’s just right. That’s why Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville so perfectly expresses the essential qualities of the varietal in deep, complex wines that can last for decades."

They attribute the source for this label is "Charming Creek, located on Route 29 just north of Oakville Cross Rd. One retailer says of this label, "this particular Oakville Cabernet comes from a secret vineyard that borders OPUS ONE on the North Side…  Sounds expensive right?  Fortunately for us, this one was created by Nick Goldschmidt whom many of you recognize from his Crazy Creek Cabernet which is arguably the best value in California Cabernet."

I admit, I came across this at Cosco, which further leads me to believe it is a negociant sourced 'excess fruit or bulk wine' produced, packaged and sold under private label. As I have often written in these pages, the challenge with such labels is that they often are the 'second' picking or are composed of fruit not selected for the primary label. And, they're one-time wonders, not subject to long term contracts, hence any concept of terroir is a one time chance encounter. For a collector, don't fall in love with it because you may never see it again, or not in a string of continuous releases. If it proves to be that good, it'll end up back in the grand vin.

On the other hand, these labels often provide great QPR - quality price ratio, available at times for a fraction of the grand vin price. Hence, they're typically anonymized by the private label and the source is obfuscated so as not to diminish the primary source's brand and price point, as indicated by this retailer referring to the 'secret' vineyard. While under such circumstances, once in a while you get a sixty dollar wine for forty bucks, in this case, I think one got a thirty dollar wine for that price-point.

Alas, this was characteristically, lesser fruit and a lesser effort, belaying the potentially premium or ultra-premium source. Even if they reproduce in next year in a follow on vintage, I won't hold my breath for it to be memorable, or even a significant QPR value. 

Goldschmidt Hillary Napa Valley Oakville Charming Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 

Winemakers' notes: "The old Clone 7 Cabernet Sauvignon vines here give perfumed aromatics but also silkiness, deep color, power and richness. Also typical of Clone 7, the wines age very gracefully and show good acidity and structure when older. After 10 years this vineyard will still show dark fruits and supple tannins."

"Tasting Note: Deep garnet-purple; concentrated aromas of chocolate and black cherry alongside notes of cinnamon and hazelnut. The entry of this wine is juicy with a silky-smooth texture that builds through the mid-palate. Blackberry and black current flavors are supported with well-integrated oak. Nicely balanced and shows the fresh acidity on the finish that Oakville is known for."

Dark garnet purple colored, medium bodied, straightforward black berry fruits with note of mocha, cinnamon and hazelnut with bright acidity that seemed a bit flabby and obtuse on the finish. 

RM 87 points.