Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Morning Coffee Talk

Introducing Ulises Valdez, the Super Special someone I referred to this morning...Ulises is the vineyard manager for the Handal- Denier Vineyards in Dry Creek (among others). His grapes go into California's most famous bottles - from Rockpile Vineyard in Dry Creek (WS #3 Top 100 of 2005) to Pahlmeyer Vineyards along the Sonoma Coast. Not to mention, he is the man behind St. Peter's Church vineyards made famous by Rosenblum.

Ulises came to the house this morning to meet me and learn a little about Texas while I was still sipping on my first cup of java. Robert Parker recently wrote "The 2004 Pinot Noir UV Vineyard (96-98pts), made by Mark Aubert, may turn out to be one of the finest Pinot Noirs ever made in California." Also, "One of the finest viticultral managers in northern California is Ulises Valdez, and his 2004 (Paul Hobbs, 95pts.) Ulises Valedez Vineyard boasts a wonderful leesy/broiche character intermixed with honeysuckle, orange rind, tangerine, and hazelnut notes...Interestingly, Valdez also farms vineyards for both Pahlmeyer and Aubert, so he is unquestionably at the top of his field." I'm looking forward to Ulises first release under his own Valdez label - at least 3 varietals to start - Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

Ulises and I , along with Dick Handal this morning sat together like old friends sharing passionate wine tales and truly profound ideas about the future together...Just another day in the life of TexaCali Wine Co. I am grateful to know both the Handals and Ulises Valdez - the future is soo bright!

Also, I tasted the "Henley Late Harvest Syrah" from the barrels this afternoon. Texas is a lucky lucky state this year - YUM! Cheers - Ali

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