Monday, August 19, 2013

2013 VELLUM White: Another Vintage is Born!

With the 2013 harvest quite literally around the corner (this week in fact), we spend our time preparing for only one thing - the white wine.  August in Napa Valley for VELLUM is and always will be the month devoted to VELLUM White!  We find that the best time to harvest Sauvignon blanc and Semillon is when the fruit is coming out of its adolescence and is discovering its maturity.  Here is the right of passage for the fruit, when we portend the future of it ten years later in bottle!  That is harvest day - we capture a one moment frozen in time and find a new home for its best flavours that are bright, wild and full of life!

This year August is especially uncommon.The weather has given us an earlier harvest by at least a week. With earlier ripening, such a situation should yield an added benefit of succulent acidity, fine structure and a well defined palate. It certainly is a vineyard year; where as winemakers, our job gets a whole lot easier when nature is on our side. We expect this vintage to have more than its share of promise!

As we usher in the 2013 harvest, we do not want to forget the bounty of 2012 that gave us VELLUM White. Now in current release, the wine has become everything we want it to be and it will only reveal more of its hidden layers in the years to come. For those of you that already have a bottle of it in hand, I have been asked to share to a few thoughts...

The 2012 Vellum White is wonderfully vibrant and generous in nature. Aromas waft easily from the glass and present remarkable notes of fresh citrus, young fig, chamomile and thistle. The wine reaches across the entire palate with ample volume and a tensile strength. It moves its gentle oily weight to yield a supple viscosity and reveal an inner incense of spice from the near east.Layered flavours continue with lively citrus, ripe gooseberry and summer thicket that persist to a long, succulent and complex finish. Vellum White is focused, unique and singular in style, but pays tribute to the tradition of great Bordeaux blanc! Age 15+ years.

Well, enough of the “critic-speak”, that is a lot to think about, but what I really want to say is that all of you simply enjoy it!  I still think 2013 has a lot to live up to, however the weather weighs heavily in our favour, and the undercurrent of what we do at VELLUM will always be there.  So, expect more great variations on this theme for VELLUM White. I suspect there may be a pattern forming?!

-Karl Lehmann

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rave review from Groezinger Wine Merchants, Yountville CA

2009 VELLUM Cabernet Sauvignon -

A couple weeks ago I met VELLUM's winemaker, Karl Lehmann, at a friend's house during a dinner party.  There were a lot of really good wines on the table, and this one in particular that I had never seen before.  I tasted through the wines, and some were really quite good.

When the VELLUM hit my lips, I forgot about all the other wines I had tasted that evening, forgot about the beautiful leg of lamb that was served, and was practically born again with my enthusiasm for Napa Valley Cabernet.

This is no bullshit.  The 2009 VELLUM Cabernet Sauvignon is exactly how I want and think Cabs should be crafted.  It had balls of steel, with an inky black-purple hue, deep briary flavors of wild blackberry, cassis, earthy spice, firm tannin, and an unparalleled completeness unlike any other Cabernet from Napa.

The finish is long, satiating and pure, with super firm, fine, fuzzy tannins.  While discussing the wine with Karl, he mentioned that the pressed juice is reintegrated into the wine instead of making a "free run" only wine.  Many winemakers don't use their pressed juice and basically steal the wine's soul in the process.

With the VELLUM Cabernet you get all the parts, all of the flavor, all of the structure, everything those grapes had to offer is in the bottle.  It has the grip and structure like some of the great Napa Cabs of the late '70's and '80's combined with the polish and finesse of modern day Cabernet.

This wine is one of the reasons why I love what I do and love sharing it with you.  You would be doing yourself a significant disservice by not procuring a small load of the 2009 VELLUM Cab.  It's absolutely magnificent wine.

- Rick Beard, Groezinger Wine Merchants, Yountville, California