Spring training in the Napa Valley is signaled with the golden glow of mustard blooming between the rows of black, rain-soaked, dormant vines, and the promise of longer days to be in the vineyard with my four-legged helpers, Brandy and Major. I feel fortunate to be able to fill my days with the process of participating in a product that takes on a life of its own. Nancy said it feels like having one foot in the past and one foot in the future as we are releasing our 2006 vintage, but working on the daily schedule of our 2009 harvest. However, for me, it is being very much in the present, working the vineyard each and every day.
The evolution of our young vineyard continues with the expansion of the existing vineyard. Late summer, Jim Barbour and crew, cleared about two-thirds of an acre towards the sunny west corner that is now home to another Cabernet clone, Clone 6, recommended by our winemaker, Thomas Brown, which will result in a higher production in a couple of years and add complexity to the wine.
How quickly the ”rookie“ year has come and gone. Nancy and I thank all of you for the generous feedback and enthusiastic support of our new adventure. As a result, we have essentially sold out of the 500 cases of the 2005 release, with only 15 cases remaining as we go to print of the GTS Nancy’s Fancy, which Nancy is trying not to take personally.
Tom and Nancy Seaver
With 2006 we began looking at the project in a new light. Now that we have established the tradition of two bottlings a year, we set about harvesting the vineyard with different goals in mind. Ultimately, we’d like to bring every piece up to the qualitative standard of the GTS bottling but we realize that won’t be possible every vintage. So with 2006 we fractured the estate into six different picks trying to further isolate the best possible pieces all the way down to the individual plant. The strongest sections (and this applies to 2007 and 2008 as well) look to be the 191 on the big hill and the 337 on the little hill. With little adjustments we were able to isolate the best sections of these blocks to create the 2006 GTS. The wine begins with notes of menthol, sweet tobacco, blackberries and bramble. The classic Diamond Mountain structure adds dustiness to the tannin and more soil driven mountain elements such as grilled bread, creosote, and wet earth. The Nancy’s Fancy, like the 2005, is more red fruit driven and an expression of more classically styled Napa Cabernet. The nose practically screams Cabernet. Its accessibility is immediately apparent with its juicy fruit driven core and slightly minty overtones. This bottling won’t need the time the GTS will to swallow its tannin and become a more seamless wine. The Nancy’s Fancy is already there and will provide something to start with as the GTS ages gracefully for a couple of years in the cellar.
Thomas Rivers Brown