Ahlgren Vineyard1998 Tre Vini Rossi
(Santa Cruz Mountains)
Not many wineries outside of Piedmont. Italy would deliberately blend Bordeaux varietals with Nebbiolo, and then age it for eight years before releasing it. Yet that is just what Dexter and Valerie Ahlgren did with sourced grapes, aging in the wine in the cellar beneath their home in the Santa Cruz Mountains viticultural area. Starting from homemade fruit wine as a hobby in their garage, the couple went on to build their dream home onto the mountain and the winery into it. They now produce a full range of dry whites including Semillon, and Chardonnay, and reds, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, and Syrah.
Only 320 cases of this unusual blend of 41% Cabernet Franc, 53% Nebbiolo, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon were produced. It is unfined and unfiltered, and is throwing sediment, so decantation is recommended. Bright, lightly saturated garnet and fairly viscous, this wine has several gradations of color as it shrinks in towards the center, with fine sediment. On the nose the wine is advanced with notes of raisin, bark, maple, raspberry, tar, and cedar. It is medium bodied with zesty tannins, and has flavors of bing cherry, root beer, and height-of-season figs.
Reviewed August 29, 2007 by Catherine Fallis.
Other reviewed wines from Ahlgren Vineyard
2000 Cabernet Sauvignon, Bates Ranch
(Santa Cruz Mountains)Laura Ness 6/12/2006
Founder and President of Planet Grape LLC, a company committed to bringing the joy of wine, food, and good living into the lives of everyday people, Catherine is creator of the “grape goddess guides to good living,” a series of books, television presentations, seminars, and e-learning programs. The fifth woman in the world to become a Master Sommelier, grape goddess Catherine Fallis is still very much down-to-earth.