When tasting wines at shows and events, it is way too often a case of same ol’, and nothing unique. At a recent “Taste Around Town” Kickoff Party at the LA Ebell club, I experienced something quite different.
Shadowbox Cellars, a small, no, a very small, producer in Napa has taken a different approach to their winemaking. Rather than having a staff winemaker, they have chosen to select a different premier winemaker for each of the varietals they blend. And they must have done it right, since each of the selections presented at the tastings were excellent.
The wines were presented by Justin Preiser, one of three owners of the Shadowbox line. Preiser explained that the goal was to take the best of the available grapes and find the best winemaker to oversee the production of the specific wine.
Now, Shadowbox is small, and with limited production, they can be presently found in the Napa Valley area. Like many good things, the search is worth the effort.
For the current production run, the three varieties are 2010 Pinot Noir Anne Katherina, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley and the 2010 Chardonnay Orchard Lane.
The Winemaker for the Chardonnay Orchard Lane is Mike Drash. This is a limited Production of 100 cases. The Chardonnay was aged for 11 months in French Oak, split between new and used.
The AVA is the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. It comes out with a 14.2 alcohol content. This is a golden straw colored Chardonnay and has a nose of melon and grapefruit.
The Pinot Noir was placed on market with 75 cases available and with Winemaker Ames Morison bringing the flavors to the front. A nice wine with a strong Parker rating.
The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon rounds out Shadowbox’s 2014 offerings. Winemaker Steve Reynolds has selected grapes from the Stag’s Leap, Napa Valley AVA. This is a nice Cabernet with a degree of complexity which should please both novice and experienced fans.
All in all, Shadowbox has a limited production of unique wines created by three skilled winemakers. The reds should stand the test of time.
Have a winederful day and try Shadowbox when in Napa.