Tres Niños, Red Table Wine,
I first meet Elias Fernandez back in 1993 and I immediately recognized a fine wine making talent. I also found an individual who could be genuinely obsessed about the quality of his own vineyard in his front yard. In 1998 Elias moved his property to a larger acreage in Calistoga, where he judiciously decided to plant clone 3 Cabernet along with a whimsical and small selection of Petite Sirah. In regards to the viticulture – his vineyard is an example to all of my growers - it is simply a matter of deciding when to pick the grapes.
When the day does finally arrive, Elias cajoles his three sons to participate in the picking (hence the Tres Niños moniker). He always reminds them that they are participating in their college fund, and thus they should not drop any of the fruit on the ground. So, while Elias and I know this is a labor of love, please keep in mind the notion of supporting the college fund for his three sons.
This wine is essentially Cabernet Sauvignon and could legitimately be labeled as such. However, there is one row of Petite Sirah in the vineyard and I do blend in about 2% Syrah as well. The site takes advantage of the warmth of the Calistoga appellation, but the vineyard is protected from the scorching afternoon heat as it is at the base of the Western hills, and thus shaded. As a result, the Cabernet shows the forward ripe dark cherry fruit of the area, but also lovely round developed tannins and a bright acidity that has proven a great benefit for ageing. I still find the wine improves with decanting after a few hours, so you could easily cellar this for another 10 years.
160 six packs made
$55 btl / $330 case
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