It’s May  –  we’re well past the beginning of spring and the vineyard is growing overnight, it seems.  Compare the pictures of a bare winter vine and the same vine now over two feet long, with a cluster of closed flowers starting to open, beginning the growing season.  All this activity happens within twelve weeks, and it stuns me every year.  Today the temperature is hitting the mid-eighties; over the next few days we expect many of those flowers to burst open, welcoming another glorious summer in Napa.

Anthony, Jill Davis and Rafael recently tasted through the 2012 Bordeaux varietals and put together the final blends that will go into bottle in July.  As they measure, taste and re-blend, re-taste and blend yet again, one wonders how they can keep it all straight.  The Claret is lovely, and the Napa Cabernet certainly grabbed my attention.  Happily, this spectacular vintage also yielded some wine we felt would create a beautiful 2012 Talianna.  Not much, but some, and that is sure to delight a few.

Plans for our 20 vintage retrospective dinner in July are coming together nicely.  For those still on the fence, consider this – in the April 2014 edition of Wine Advocate #212, page 3, you’ll find this regarding the 2004 Bell Cabernet sauvignon, Clone 6.  “This may be the finest Cabernet Sauvignon I have yet tasted from Bell Wine Cellars.  A complex bouquet of cedarwood, flowers, forest floor, red and black currants soars from the glass.  The color leans toward a dark plum, ruby.  In the mouth, this full-bodied, opulent wine is pure silk with lots of finesse as well as a long finish.  Drink it over the next decade.  94 points.  Robert Parker”.  Thirty-eight reservations remain available, and club members have priority.

The leisure season will be upon us shortly  –  will you be visiting Napa?  We have a beautiful patio and bocce courts rimmed with flowers, as well as a new tasting alcove inside the cellar.   There are worse places to picnic or spend some summer afternoon.  Please let us know we have club members coming by and we’ll roll out the carpet for you.  Remember, two club members with two guests have all current release tasting fees waived, so bring some friends along.  We’d love to see you all.

Sandra, Anthony and everyone at Bell Wine Cellars