The 2015 California State Fair handed out their awards last week, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Many BELL fans know we don’t send our wines out for review except the few retrospectives we participate in through Napa Valley Vintners. In general, we’ve always felt that giving one person the power to make or break our wine’s reputation is simply silly. Wine is so much more than the opinion of one person, who might have already tasted several dozen wines and found the “standout” wine, but it stands out for the wrong reasons. Better to let a panel of educated tasters give it their collective attention. And the state fair is just such a panel, a group of over 75 experienced wine judges from several different professional parts of the industry including producers, retail sales and fine dining.
The 2012 vintage was certainly exceptional in many ways – fabulous fruit is the basis for fabulous wine, and 2012 delivered that in abundance. But the point of great vintages is that everyone is making great wine that year. To make exceptional wine in an exceptional year is no small task. To make three such wines is astonishing.
Happily, the three Cabernets that are the backbone of our winery took home highest honors. Our Clone 6 and Reserve Napa both won Double Gold and scored 98 points out of 99. A Double Gold is when all the judges unanimously agree that the wine is a gold medal wine, something of an accomplishment among such a discerning (and opinionated) group. And the regular Napa Cabernet, at $55/bottle, won the extraordinary award of Best of Region – Napa Red Wine.
I grew up in Vermont, where winning a blue ribbon at our small state fair was a very big deal. This win at the California State Fair certainly feels like a big deal to me. We’re sharing the good news and giving you a special opportunity to buy the Best of Napa Red to celebrate July. Dare I say the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley goes especially well with fireworks?
Enjoy the many riches of Summer!
Best from Sandra, Anthony and all of us at Bell Wine Cellars