Thursday, August 28, 2014

Celebrating Cabernet Day

Today marks the 5th Annual Cabernet Day!  A day of celebrating the beautiful Cabernert Sauvignon Grape.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate than telling the world about my two favorite Cabernet bottles produced by wineries who are also clients of TexaCali Wine Co. and friends!

Denier Handal Vineyards

Their 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley (hello all you Silver Oak fans, here's a bottle for 1/2 the price from the same neighborhood) is exactly what I like in Cabernet Sauvignon, smooth and silky sipping! I've been showing this around America for new distribution with wholesalers this summer, so get ready to find it in DC, VA, MD, NC and Texas!  Denier Handal is also available in Sonoma County at The Cheese Shop in Healdsburg and now available in New Mexico at your favorite wine shop and restaurants around the state. $35 a bottle.  Oh and If ever visiting the Healdsburg area, please reach out to them (or me) directly for a chance to taste together too.

From their website: Our Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect example of the wonderful wines produced in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County. The aromas are lush and complex with hints of cassis, French oak, black pepper, anise, black olives and dark red stone fruits - plums and black cherries.

On the palate, its a powerful yet easy drinking wine with soft tannins giving it a soft velvety feel. Flavors of blackberries, black cherries and plums. It is a balanced wine with the soft tannins and acidity in perfect harmony. The finish is long and lingering with flavors of the fruit along with the presence of the soft tannins.

The 2010 won a few prestigious medals too:
Silver medal winner in the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Silver medal winner in the 2013 Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Silver medal winner in the 2013 Los Angeles International Wine Competition

Click here to see my favorite view from a Wine Country Porch and to read more about my dear friends & their Denier-Handal wines:

Here's a real gem for any Cabernet Sauvignon drinker  - especially the Napa Valley lovers!  I've chosen their 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon for a few reasons today. 1) it's perfectly aged 2) silly good 3) their first release 4) my dear friends Loren & Annie are getting hitched in a private ceremony at the Winfield Vineyard - where this beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon is grown.  I first had the 2004 over dinner with the owners and Loren a few years back - and just fell in love with this STUNNING WINE!

The 2004 was made by the fabulous Rudy Zuidema in Calistoga, 100% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - Block #1 – Clone 337, Rootstock 110-R & Block #2  - Clone 7, Clone 337, Rootstock 101-4. It was aged in 60% new French Oak & 30% Neutral French Oak. First released in 2008 with 240 cases available.  

Best way to purchase this special 2004 is directly by calling the winery:  707.963.9838, $120 a bottle. Also call to reserve a special tasting with them at their Library location in downtown Calistoga or if you're lucky, a sip above the vineyard.

From their website: 2004 Tasting Notes...This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is brimming with the essence of Calistoga. Its dark purple and blue pigments seem to stain the glass, while the aromas of slightly dusty raspberry, cherry, white chocolate and brown sugar jump out. On the palate, its very complex flavor profile is driven by ripe strawberry, chocolate and crisp black cherry pulling along more subtle flavors including leather, spice and fresh earth. Oak only plays a supporting role here, allowing the focused Cabernet fruit to take center stage. The texture is solid and rich – true to the 2004 growing season. 

THE GRADE is also distributed direct in California and available in Texas, NC at this time. 

Happy Cabernet Day Everyone!  - TexaCali Ali


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The State of the Hustle

No truer words written in regards to creating a life in the wine business.  So many folks have asked me over the years "so how'd you get into the wine industry?",  I've always replied "I just did it, wine was a big hobby for me and I made the jump one day guessing the wine business needed passionate marketing and sales people".  And the rest has been history in the making...with one helluva hustle attached.

Last weekend I volunteered in Dallas for the 10th Anniversary of Texsom and am still floating from all the awesome people surrounding me.  I thought a lot about leadership in this industry while working Texsom behind the scenes this year.  The leadership qualities I noticed were abundant not only by the executive teams and captains, but also by the entire Texsom community.  I saw many leaders who are also great teachers, many leaders who listened and gracefully solved issues, but the leaders who stood out the most had the hustle!

The younger set of leaders among the Texsom community are smarter than ever before and more grounded than I ever imagined. These Young Guns are incredibly passionate not only about their own personal well-being in the community but deliberately passionate about giving and sharing their knowledge of wine to anyone that crosses their paths. They work hard, the study hard and they have the hustle it takes to turn them into real leaders among our spectacular wine community. Refreshing and welcomed.

As I've now entered into a "veteran" slot within the wine buiness, I'm thankful for so many people and places that have inspired me over the last decade.  But I'm most grateful for the gift of the hustle.  Thank you Texsom 2014 for putting another gust of wind in the TexaCali Sail!

See ya around - TexaCali Ali