Wednesday, March 03, 2010

"Value" Cabernet Blend from Napa Valley

2007 StellaGrey Napa Valley Red Wine

For our first blog of March 2010 at The Wine Forum I decided to put a few words you never usually read (or hear) in the same sentence:  "Value", "Napa", "Cabernet".  The 2007 Stella Grey Napa Valley red wine has become a main stay in our purchases over the last year and will continue to be based on the 2007 example we have here.  This is our third bottle of this wine and the best one to date.  Rich, plush, with plenty of structure and acidity, this wine has great balance to please the most demanding new world palate, and age for a few years.  But at this price why bother laying it down?

The great wines of Napa valley seem to be surviving through the recession pretty well for the most part.  I am on many mailing lists and buy from many different producers in Napa and Sonoma each year.  This year has been a focus on 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon and last year was primarily Pinot Noir from 2007.  I have seen and passed on many more lists this year for some really pricey stuff (Harlan), no doubt a result of the recession naturally pricing people out.  Others I could not pass up (Screaming Eagle, took 7 years!) and have made good use of these hard to come by allocations.  But overall I am buying from the same people that I have in the past (Paul Hobbs) and sampling from new ones (Keplinger) to see how their wines match up with my tastes.  I really appreciate the personal level that many wineries have always had (Herman Story) and continue to maintain with their customers.  This really sets the California vintners apart from the rest of the wine world.  If you are curious as to who is worth checking out in 2007, drop me a line and I can tell you what I am looking at in 2007.  Who is on my radar and who I have already secured bottles of?  A future blog is planned to answer these questions, but am trying to keep value the focus for now.

The Wine

More of a kitchen sink than I thought it to be, this wine is anchored by the main Bordeaux varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot:  48%Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 15% Syrah, 10% Petite Syrah, and the rest Malbec, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc. 

The notes

Even better the 3rd time around.  This is showing better than the last 2 bottles we had.  A fun wine, that is ready to drink now but even better with 30 minutes of air.  What a value at $19! 

Color: Deep velvety red/purple core with brighter edges.

Nose: Mocha, black cherry, and some pencil lead.

Palate: Oodles of concentrated ripe cherries and chocolate continue to fan out on the palate. Some sage and cedar accent the primary flavors. The acid on this wine is great and refreshing. The tannins add further structure and depth to the wine's texture.




  1. Hi Tom,

    I'm a wine buyer for a small retail store in Brooklyn, New York, and one of my customer would like to buy some Stella Grey red. However, I'm having some difficulties to find the winery address or phone number or email or even distributor in New York. As a blogger myself, I read your blog about this particular wine and was wondering if you could please tell me if there is anything on the label that could help me. I'm not familiar with this wine. Or even you, do you have a phone number or something? Thank you in advance. Dominique Noel a.k.a

  2. Sure, no problem, the distributor is Sherbrook Cellars:

    I buy mine from Zachys in NY in Westchester County so you may be able to speak to them about questions this site can't answer.




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