The great wine experts were waiting for this occasion. Never before in Spain could any of these bottles have been purchased despite the fact that they are wines that are in the world top. They have the approval of critics and year after year obtain very high Parker, Decanter or Suckling scores. This area of the west coast of the United States has proven to have the best conditions for varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon to develop perfectly and deliver wines that are as deep as they are rich. The great wines of Napa have their great audience locally in the US and on the menus of the great restaurants on the planet. Today, thanks to Caskadia, the wines from these five great Napa Valley wineries are within the reach of the aficionado or collector in Spain. Each of the labels of these five wineries has a profound message: classic elegance, a careful lithographic print, a unique design or an elaborate composition based on a literary text. It will be worth knowing each one of them.
David Abreu is in charge of a winery full of symbolism. The vineyard sits on calcareous soils that alternate with orange pebbles and darker clays. The harvest is carried out meticulously and lasts for weeks. David Abreu has managed to assemble a great human team both in the vineyard and in the winery, which he directs with the precision of an orchestra conductor. Its label is made by an artisan printer using a manual technique that was once used in the manufacture of banknotes, now in disuse.
Continuum Estate is the winery of the third and fourth generations of the Mondavi family, true pioneers of Napa Valley viticulture. The Continuum vineyards sit on volcanic soils, rich in minerals, capable of transmitting structure and longevity to their wines. Its label reproduces a painting by Chiara Mondavi called “Light of the Vine” and represents the shadow of a vine captured in the setting sun. Chiara, a graduate in Art and Viticulture, is part of the younger generation at the head of the winery.
Realm Cellars offers two types of wines, on the one hand those that seek to show a certain terroir and come from outstanding vineyards. And on the other hand, varietal blends that demonstrate the savoir-faire of the winery’s winemakers. Both make up a very interesting catalog of wines in the Napa Valley wine scene. Readers of classic literature will be able to recognize the powerful lines of “Ricardo II” from which this winery takes its name. The label of their wine reproduces a page from this Shakespeare play with the mythical phrase underlined in red: “This blessed plot, this earth, this REALM.”
Harlan’s wine project is created around the philosophy of its promoter, William Harlan, who traveled to Bordeaux, Italy and Portugal to be inspired by the philosophy of the Châteaux or the Portuguese Quintas to create a winery in Napa with the same solidity. A wine project aimed at permanence over time that bore fruit in this wine, a brand that was only put on the market when it reached the extraordinary quality that William Harlan demanded. It comes from a vineyard of less than one hundred hectares, surrounded by olive trees and forest in the heart of Napa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon predominates, accompanied by Merlot, Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Petit Verdot. Always in the range that borders on 100 Parker points, Harlan Estate was also chosen in 2017 as the best winery in Napa by the same critic. The label on this bottle has a fascinating story: William Harlan wanted to achieve the same style of engraving for his labels that he remembered on old twenty-dollar bills, and he didn’t give up until he got it. For this he hired one of the last experts in the trade who was already retired in southern California. Together they flew to Philadelphia to explore the archives of the America Bank Note Company, where paper money and stamps had historically been printed in the United States, until they found an image that inspired the current one. The design is reminiscent of paintings from the European academic school and represents a girl picking a bunch of grapes.
Bond has brought the French concept of “Grand Cru” to his North American vineyards. There are vineyards capable of delivering superlative quality year after year, regardless of the weather, and great wines are born from them. The Bond founders’ intuition in identifying these exceptional vineyards gave rise to the five wines that represent five distinct Napa Valley terroirs: Pluribus, Quella, Melbury, St. Eden and Vecina. All five made with Cabernet Sauvignon, without a doubt the red variety that reigns in California. Its classically inspired labels, printed with typographic techniques from past centuries used for paper money, return to our fingers the pleasant tactile sensation of appreciating the relief of what is printed. A family of wines with the small color differentiation in a disc that hides an initial only visible at a certain angle when the bottle is held in the hand. A delight of details for wine collectors.
Author: Esther Ibáñez, editor specialising in gastronomy and wine.