Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Ehret Family Winery and procure an ample allocation of their new 92 Point 2008 Bella’s Blend, a wine that, vintage after vintage, is a Wine Spies favorite.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Ehret Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2008 Bella’s Blend – Red Wine – Knights Valley, Napa
Winemaker: Nick Goldschmidt
Winery Backgrounder: We first infiltrated Ehret Family Winery in early 2010. We instantly fell in love with the people and their wines. Our consistent favorite – and that of our discerning Operatives – has consistently been their Bella’s Blend. Today. we are pleased to be showcasing our third successive vintage of the Bella’s Blend, a 92-point beauty that is deserving of your consideration.
The Ehret Family Winery produces small, specialty lots of handcrafted wines from their renowned Bavarian Lion vineyard. The vineyard is also a prized source of fruit for a very select group of wineries that also make award-winning wines from the extraordinary fruit grown there.
Sonoma County’s Knight’s Valley sits at the easternmost edge of the County, far from the cooling of the Pacific Ocean. The fact that this high benchlandAVA (American Viticultural Area) gets so much hot sun during the growing season makes it the perfect region for growing richly extracted Bordeaux varietals.
Look – Deep ruby hues with a deepening core or darker garnet. Color at the edge of the wine shows a beautiful light red. Swirl the wine, and slow-moving legs form low on the glass wall.
Smell – Ripe and sweet, with bright Bing cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry out in front. Just beneath, sweet spice, blackberry, leather, cigar box and dried black tea leaf emerge.
Feel – Cool, soft and light across the front palate, then very quickly grippy – at the front palate. This plush, grippy dryness spreads very quickly from front-palate, rearward, eventually drying the lips and cheeks. As the dryness spreads, the wine takes on a chewy, coated-palate feel that is accompanied by soft black pepper and clove.
Taste – Dark and delicious, with black cherry, spiced blackberry, dark plum, and dried fig. Young sweetwoods, anise, espresso bean, young strawberry, cigar box, dark tobacco leaf, black pepper and subtle clove round out the flavors.
Finish – Super long, with lingering dark fruit that gradually fades to red fruit, spice, and earthy characteristics. As the dryness spreads, the palate is coated with a softly chewy feel. At the end, hints of black pepper and subtle clove appear.
Conclusion – Once again, Ehret really impresses us with their latest flagship wine, their Bella’s Blend. This vintage, which won an impressive 92 Point score fromWine Enthusiast Magazine (who declared the wine to be their official Cellar Selection), is easily the best we have sampled to date. Today’s 2008 Ehret Family Winery Bella’s Blend is a delicious, complex, wine that is drinking beautifully, now, but is destined for greatness as it gains a bit of bottle aging. Pair with a spicy rubbed steak or a hearty, spicy pasty dish. This beautiful blend receives our highest recommendation.
The vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.