Howell Mountain Power and Bohemian Grace

Wine barrels.

We only held two formalized tastings this week, but they were fantastic.

The Amizetta property is a steep and rocky 40 acre parcel with southern facing slopes at the tail end of Howell Mountain in the Conn Valley region of Napa Valley. The vineyards are farmed by Jim Barbour. Edward Clark is the winemaker, with Chuck Wagner and Rick Forman consulting. 

It looks like winemaking was in the blood for Kurt Beitler, whose grandfather started Caymus Vineyards. Kurt got his start in the business in 2000 when his uncle, Chuck Wagner, charged him with farming his Pinot vineyard near Occidental. Kurt quickly fell in love with the area and the process of tending to and growing his own grapes, in 2004 he started making wines under his own label Boheme . Kurt’s philosophy that “the best wines make themselves” really shines through in these incredible wines.

2013 Amizetta ‘Estate’

Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Napa Valley

Amizetta Cabernet

Wine Spectrum 95+: Dark ruby red in color, this wine is rich on the nose, with notes of vanilla, white chocolate and blackberry jam. On the palate it is rich and round, with flavors of baked cherry. The wine’s oak tannins are structured but supple, filling the mouth through a long and satisfying finish.  100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  500 cases produced.

Robert Parker 93: The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, which was treated essentially the same way as the Proprietary Red, except for a slightly elevated percentage of new French oak, is a more youthful wine. It is pure, with crème de cassis, blackberry fruit, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel velvety tannin and long finish. This is impressive, well-done and a reasonably fair value in high-end and high-quality Napa Cabernet Sauvignons. Drink it over the next 15 or more years. 

2013 Amizetta ‘Complexity’

Proprietary Red  |  Napa Valley

Amizetta Complexity 2012

Wine Spectrum 95: Opening with the scent of dark fruit, this wine evokes a warm, earthy minerality. The entry is silky, with flavors of blackberry pie and subtle notes of anise. Soft tannins provide balance to the fruit, creating warmth on the back of the palate and a lasting finish of berries and spice. All estate fruit from the Amizetta terraced hillside vineyards in the Conn Valley region of Napa Valley: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot & 5% Cabernet Franc.  500 cases produced.



2012 Bohème ‘English Hill Vineyard’

Pinot Noir  |  Sonoma Coast

Boheme english-hill-chard Label Wine Spectrum 94: English Hill Vineyard grows at the southwest edge of Sebastopol Hills, surrounded by expansive pasture and rangeland. Overlooking Russian River Valley and the Marin Coast, weather swings wildly between continental and maritime influences. 

Winemaker’s Notes: Deep earthen aromas of mushroom, cola, exotic grass and alfalfa meeting Indian spices, cherry and strawberry fruit on the palate. A fine texture and finish of even and broad tannins. 766 cases produced!


NV Tradition ‘Cuvée’

Red Wine  |  Napa Valley

Amizetta Tradition RedWine Spectrum 93: Produced by Ed & Perry Clark of Amizetta, this Cuvée is made of the press run juice from Amizetta’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon production blended with 2014 Merlot and Syrah.  The brothers’ goal is to make “the best red wine blend we can, on its own terms, its own unique tradition.”  A perfect wine for your next BBQ!  Only 1000 cases produced.



2012 Bohème ‘Taylor Ridge Vineyard’

Pinot Noir |  Sonoma Coast

boheme pinot-noir-taylor LabelWine Spectrum 93, Robert Parker 92: As for the three Pinot Noirs I tasted from Boheme, the 2012 Pinot Noir Taylor Ridge comes from the Joseph Swan selection and was aged in neutral French oak. This wine reminded me of a Volnay premier cru, with lush red cherries as well as some strawberry and almost kirsch-like notes. Medium to full-bodied, lush, sexy and just a delight to drink, this is a wine to consume over the next 3-4 years. 

Taylor Ridge Vineyard grows on a wooded bluff 4.9 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Its sandy loam soil derives from prehistoric beaches that, over millennia, rose to 915 feet elevation. Cool air and fog from Tomales and Bodega Bays drift over the vineyard, permitting slow ripening of the fruit. Winemaker’s Notes: The vibrant berry and sage-spice aromas meet red fruit, strawberries, clove, orange peel, cinnamon and Christmas spice with a long finish of fine and elegant and tannins. 305 cases produced.

2012 Bohème ‘Occidential Hills’

Syrah  |  Sonoma Coast

Boheme SyrahWine Spectrum 93: Occidental Hills Syrah is a barrel selection from two estate-grown Syrah vineyards: English Hill (19%) and Que Syrah (81%). The two coastal plots were harvested on October 21st with a combined yield of 2.28 tons per acre. Following harvest, the grapes were fermented and aged as a single lot.

Winemaker’s Notes: A cool-climate Syrah showing ripe, broad tannins with exuberant cedar, mineral, cured meat and crushed rock aroma extending to red cherry, brilliant blueberry and boysenberry fruit flavors and background of olive, cola and modest sweet oak toast.

Robert Parker 91: Lastly, the 2012 Syrah Occidental Hills displays plenty of blackberry and licorice as well as hints of camphor and truffle. It is meaty, ripe, medium to full-bodied, soft, round and juicy. This was aged 20 months in neutral French oak and there are 288 cases of it. Drink it over the next 4-7 years.

NV Tradition ‘Cuvée’

White Wine  |  North Coast

Amizetta Tradition WhiteWine Spectrum 93: Produced by Ed & Perry Clark of Amizetta, this white wine is a cuvée of 80% Sauvignon Blanc & 20% Muscat.  Beautiful pear notes – the sauv blanc was planted on a former pear orchard – with expressions of peach and a nice balance of strong acidity.  A must for your springtime and summer sipping! The brothers’ goal is to make “the best white wine blend we can, on its own terms, its own unique tradition.”  Only 1000 cases produced.



2012 Bohème Taylor Ridge Chardonnay $41/b

WSI 92+ RP 91: The 2012 Chardonnay Taylor Ridge comes from a vineyard that sits 4.8 miles from the Pacific Ocean and is planted with the favorite of Chardonnay winemakers, the old Wente clone. This wine went through full malolactic fermentation, but was aged in totally neutral oak. The wine is fresh, and crisp, showing notes of lemon oil and other caramelized citrus, as well as hints of nectarine and mango. It is medium-bodied, but intense, with fresh acids and a long finish. This wine is youthful despite the fact that it’s three years old. Drink it over the next 4-5 years.

Winemaker’s Notes: This fine-textured and exuberant Chardonnay shows aromas of lavender, exotic lemon and citrus rind, and honeysuckle with nearly opulent fresh stone fruit flavors and long, medium-viscous and light toast finish. 288 cases produced.

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