The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

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Page 44 of 92

44 / the tasting panel / november 2009 Sandy Carlson • TAYLOR FAMILY VINEYARDS Taylor Family Vineyards started as growers in 1976. "My dad [Jerry Taylor] thought it was a great idea to have his kids doing the labor in the vineyards," quips Sandy Carlson, who heads up sales for the small- production winery. Winemaker Gustavo Brambila, who also has his own wine label and was portrayed in the movie Bottle Shock, crafts dense, chewy, fruit-for- ward wines that are huge but handle-able. "We love to taste with our customers," says Carlson. "Our Wine Club is all-important. We know all our customers. That's the number one way we sell our wines." Now available through November 30 is the limited-edition 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Appellation Collection from the Stags Leap District Wine- growers Association. In its 13th release, the Appellation Collection is comprised of one bottle from each of the Association's winery mem- bers: Baldacci Family Vineyards, Chimney Rock Winery, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Clos du Val, Hartwell Vine- yards, Ilsley Vineyards, Malk Fam- ily Vineyards, Pine Ridge, Regusci Winery, Robert Sinskey Vineyards, Robinson Family Vineyards, Shafer Vineyards, Silverado Vineyards, Stags' Leap Winery, Steltzner Vineyards, Taylor Family Vineyards and Terlato Family Vineyards. SRP is $1,375 per case. Contact Nancy Bialek at 707-255-1720. The 2005 Stags Leap District Appellation Collection Michael Beaulac • PINE RIDGE WINERY Michael Beaulac is the new winemaker and General Manager for Pine Ridge, the estate winery founded in 1978. "This is a huge change for me," he says, referring to his eight-year stint as winemaker for St. Supéry in the Napa Valley. Beaulac, standing tall against the pines along the ridge on the Stags Leap District estate, explains that the winery is "appellation driven," making wines not only off the SLD estate property but also from four other Napa Valley ap- pellations. "This is my first venture with Stags Leap fruit," he admits. "I came here, not to fix a problem [he replaced Stacy Clark, who was winemaker at Pine Ridge for 25 years], but to shift the focus. I love making wine, but I also enjoy taking control in the vineyards, working closely with our vineyard manager. To put my fingerprint on the property seemed like a good thing to do." Beaulac's goal with Pine Ridge is to ensure more balance in the vines. "I want to put the vigor back. We have exceptional vineyards, but I think they have been overly stressed. I'm expecting to see more prominent fruit from our Stags Leap District property." Michael Beaulac is the new winemak- er and GM at Pine Ridge Winery. Sandy Carlson and her nine-month-old Rottwei- ler, Taz, at Taylor Family Vineyards.

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