Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine: Volker Eisele Family Estate 2005 Gemini  (Chiles Valley)

Volker Eisele Family Estate

2005 Gemini
(Chiles Valley ~ Napa Valley)

Volker Eisele knows what he’s doing in the backwoods, if you will, of the Napa Valley. He’s taken this Bordeaux white blend from his cool vineyard in Chiles Valley and made a voluptuous wine out of it.

The way he accomplished this was to co-ferment the wine in stainless steel, with four months in French oak – only 20 percent of which was new. The barrel treatment gives the wine a lushness and viscosity on top of the fruit’s natural herbal and Crenshaw melon aromas and flavors. The wine is perfectly balanced with wonderful acidity (at a pH of 3.31) giving it aging potential for about a half-dozen years.

First planted 33 years ago, Volker Eisele’s organic vineyard, at elevations of 900 to 1,100 feet, is in the eastern hills above Lake Berryessa. Soils vary from clay-loam to shale. The vineyard is mostly planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, but three percent is comprised of Semillon, while only 2 percent is given over to Sauvignon Blanc.

The coolness of the vineyard site allows for this wine to finish at a relatively low 13.5 percent listed alcohol. There were only 421 cases produced.

Reviewed January 2, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Volker Eisele Family Estate
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Gemini
Appellation: Chiles Valley ~ Napa Valley
Grapes: Semillon (85%), Sauvignon Blanc (15%)
Price: 750ml $25.00

Review Date: 1/2/2007

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.