Have You Been Naughty Or Nice? Favored Wine Selections by Naughty CellarsWords by Jennifer Stein Words by Autumn Millhouse
Oscar Renteria, winemaker for Renteria Wines and well-known successful vineyard manager and Steve Reynolds, winemaker for his own Reynolds Family label, both big names in Napa Valley combined their wine efforts and created one of my new favorite wine collections: Naughty Cellars.
The inception, Steve says was because “Oscar and I decided to make some home-brew, garage-style wines and give them away to friends. Naughty started as a joke label, but our friends started to ask if they could buy it."
The wine collection now features Racy (a cabernet sauvignon blend), Sticky (dessert wine), Inky (syrah/petite sirah blend), Syrah, and Petite Sirah. They also have available a Naughty Bubbly Brut and a Naughty Bubbly Rose. The wines are bold, luscious and very affordable, which is surprising because of their limited productions, handcrafted style and high-end taste and appeal.
Tasting Note: Get Naughty tonight with Racy, a sultry blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (69%), Cabernet Franc (16%) and Zinfandel (15%). Bing cherry and plum combine with crushed black pepper and boysenberry in this wickedly sinful wine.
All three varietals were grown on hillsides. The yields were very low as a result of multiple crop thinnings, providing concentrated fruit flavors. Vinified and aged separately for one year in 90% French oak, 10% American oak before blending.
Tasting Note: Wanna Get Naughty? Inky is blend of Petite Sirah and Syrah. The 2003 vintage shows classic earthy flavors combined with blackberry and strawberry jam and a touch of licorice and spices. Fruit driven with beautiful tannins, Inky is long on finish and finesse.
About the Vineyard: Juliana Vineyard is located in Pope Valley, one of seven valleys that make up the Napa Valley. This block is composed of gravelly subsoil and a sandy loam surface horizon. Row direction is East to West off a South facing slope. Less than 2 tons per acre was the intentional yield.
Naughty Bubbly Brut
Naughty Cellars claim that “Naughty Girls are playful and alluring. They tease, beguile, and enrapture…can seduce and arouse with a single hypnotic glance. They are intriguing temptresses who live for pleasure every day…and every night”.
Winemaker’s notes: Lively, bright and balanced, this wine exhibits all the hallmarks of a classic Brut. A rich and yeasty nose is contrasted with a full, round palate saturated with citrus zest, candied ginger and minerals. Full through the middle palate, the finish is clean and refreshing.
Autumn Millhouse is an award-winning travel writer who specializes in wine, food and romantic getaways. She is also an international trekker who has wined and dined across the globe from Barcelona to Beijing. A self-proclaimed “hopeless-romantic” and author of Romantic Napa Valley: An Insider’s Guide for Couples, Autumn also has a bi-monthly column called Love Vines published in Napa Valley Life Magazine. She resides in Napa Valley where she cultivates her wine and food relationships with top chefs, winemakers and a slew of other foodies. Besides, sniffing, swirling and sipping wine daily, Autumn is currently working on her next travel book Romantic Sonoma Valley: An Insider’s Guide for Couples.
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