Saturday, March 28, 2009


One of the events that reshaped my entire perspective on California wine took place in a "potato bunker" in Dry Creek in 2006. We met Doug Nalle at his winery. He was very skeptical as to why we were there ,and why we would want to sell his wines. Doug is maybe the most opinionated Winemaker I've ever met, a claim he would gladly admit to. Doug suspiciously tasted us through a lineup of wines, as he began to realize that we sort of got it, he started digging through the back of his winery, reminding me of Yoda in his excitement. He broke out 15 year old Zins that had alcohol in the mid 12% range. They aged like Bordeaux! Doug has mastered the art of making beautiful wines with low alcohol. He is best known for his Pinot Noir (which has a very apparent Lactose quality you rarely see outside of Burgundy)and Zinfandel. His Zins will reboot your perception of the entire varietal. elegant, acid structure, balanced red fruit. Old Vine extraction is maybe a little overrated. Doug told me last week that Zinfandel is the absolute hardest grape work with. He also proudly declared that high alcohol wines are falling out of favor, a statement I agree with wholeheartedly. Never being one to follow trends, his high quality wines are very consistent in their style. It's nice to see the seachange come back to lower alcohol wines, but even if it didn't, I'd know that Doug would continue to craft long lived benchmark wines just as he has been for 20 years. We are proud to add Nalle Winery to our portfolio. If you are looking for some good wine geek entertainment check out his side labels for his Zins on his website.

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