Recently, Ehret Family Winery joined Locals Tasting Room. A storied family of Sonoma County hospitality, they established their Bavarian Lion estate vineyard in 1996. It is located in the important but lesser known Knights Valley, on Highway 128 between Alexander Valley and Up-Valley Napa (Calistoga).
While there are no tasting rooms there, Knights Valley fruit has been the nearly unsung hero of many well-known wines by Beringer and others. Jess Jackson also took particular interest, developing a property in this area. Old time Locals Nouveau Hicks still ask about a stunning Mourvedre wine from Knights that we offered in the early years of our tasting room here in Geyserville.
The Ehret wines express their exciting appellation ably! The Ehret 2009 Sauvignon Blanc($16) comes up well in this hottish climate, a first-class balance between fruit and grassiness. A bit of coastal air conditioning often comes up the Russian River and spills into the valley, moisturizing and cooling things just a tad in the evening. So nice long hangtimes are the norm here, and perfectly ripened fruit jazzes up every bottle it fills.
The Ehret 2008 Bellarina, an appealing Meritage blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, is a great casual choice. Smoky dark cherry flavors finish on elegant tannins lingering in this medium bodied wine, and only $20! It’s great with lamb and all meats, or try it with some grilled portabellas. An opulent, hearty syrah is also produced by this winery.
But the signature wines are made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Great from the bottle now, or age them out more fully. The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon ($34) has classic fruit flavor, nice body and a lengthy finish.
The 2006 Hillside Reserve ($40), with fruit selected from a hillside block above the valley floor benchland, is a little bigger, richer, more piquant and intense. We’d call it a great cab. Come on in soon and see if you agree!