V Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Napa Valley 2010
Do you remember?
Do you remember that moment, some months back, when we HIGHLY, emphatically, loudly and with extreme urgency suggested you buy some of the 2009 V Madrone at 60+% OFF?? And you did, and then we sold out an hour later, and you opened it and said: “Good Lord, those dudes were right!! I should have bought more!!”
Well, if that happened or not --- you GOTTA snag some of the (even better???) 2010 --- we went back to the winery after we sold out and begged and pleaded for more -- they finally relented and HERE. YOU. GO!! 2010 Cabernet! Even less quantity than last time, though!
OK, ok, what’s the scoop you ask? Once a “ghost winery” just north of St. Helena, V Madrone’s history began in the late 1880s, when, along with other German contemporaries such as Charles Krug, the Hersch family made wine on this spot. After Prohibition (oooooh, that word just sends a shiver of terror down our spines), it became a popular “country” resort for some years until being abandoned. New owners, the Tilleys, resurrected it and started making a bit of wine in 2007. Since THEN, it has been acquired by AXR Winery (which is made by rockstar Jean Hoefliger!!). WHEW. Anyway, let us regale you on the actual wine!!
Dark, medium-bodied and highly aromatic! 2010 is SUCH a great vintage in Napa, and the wines are starting to hit their drinking window. There’s cedar and blueberry pie, cinnamon spice and spiced plums, with a bit of kirsch and mocha and a rich, round texture. PERFECT right this moment with almost a decade of age on it --- it’s complete and harmonious and still amazingly youthful and powerful. THE PRICE! Wackiness.
Like we said uptop…SUPER small quantity!!
Technical DetailsCountry: USA
Region: Napa County
Appellation: Napa Valley
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
About The Producer
Before settlers moved into the Napa Valley in the 1830s and 1840s, the area surrounding the V Madrone winery and vineyard was home to the Wappo tribe. In 1883 August and Frederika Hersch acquired the property and built a Victorian house and winery at the location of V Madrone. A front-page travelogue written by the editor of the St. Helena Star in 1887, described the Hersches’ “Fine Country Life” in the late 19th century.
Contemporaries of Charles Krug, and other German immigrants of the era, the Hersches produced up to 20,000 gallons of wine yearly at what was then called the August Hersch Winery. Claret was produced and large quantities were shipped to New York customers. In 1894 August Hersch passed prematurely and shortly thereafter the winery and its cooperage were sold and several owners later the winery was lost to history in the years following Prohibition.
In the early 20th Century the property was transformed into a popular lodge and restaurant which became widely known in the 1930s and 1940s as “The Madrones” named after the then numerous twisted red bark Madrone trees located in the area. Following their ownership, the property was owned by several families until Chris and Pauline Tilley acquired it in 2001. The Tilleys planted the 3.5-acre estate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in 2002, following extensive review of soil type, neighboring vineyard analysis, climate, water source and runoff and other “terroir” factors. In 2004, thanks to the diligence of renowned local historical researcher, John Kelly, the lost legacy of August Hersch was rediscovered and the Tilleys learned that the property was eligible to become a winery again. In 2007 V Madrone Cellars was declared a Napa County Historical Landmark, and on December 6, 2008, on the 75th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition V Madrone was opened for business.
The name “V Madrone” combines the legacy of the 19th century vineyard and the 20th century lodge.
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