This is the time of year we wine drinkers begin to step up our search for white and rosé wines for summer enjoyment. Cue the spring winery releases. We recently received these two new wines from Napa Valley’s Ehlers Estate as tasting samples and we are happy to share them with you.
Ehlers Estate is tucked away in Napa Valley just north of St. Helena. Bernard Ehlers purchased 10 acres of failing vines, replanted the vineyard and completed a stone barn in 1886 that still stands today. None of the original vineyard plantings survive today, but a grove of olive trees he planted at the same time do remain.
The modern history of Ehlers Estate begins with Jean and Sylviane Leducq, who saw the potential to make wines in the Bordeaux style they so loved in their native France. Over several decades they expanded the property, which now totals 42 contiguous acres.
The vineyards were planted under the direction of enologist Jacques Boissenot in 1995 to a variety of clones and rootstock based on the varied soil types found on the property. Six clones of Cabernet Sauvignon are planted on a variety of rootstocks in multiple blocks along with several of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and one block of Petit Verdot. In July 2008 Ehlers Estate earned organic certification from California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).
In July of 2018 Laura Díaz Muñoz has named winemaker and general manager. Laura earned her post graduate degree in enology at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and began her winemaking career in La Mancha before working at various wine regions in Spain and around the world.
Now let’s get to the wines.
2019 Ehlers Estate Sylviane, St. Helena, Napa Valley — bright, translucent raspberry in the glass with generous aromas of strawberries, melons and raspberries. The flavors follow the aromatic profile along with citrus and dusty earth supported by juicy acidity and a medium-length finish. 13.4% abv. SRP $32
This wine is just so gorgeous in the glass. This bright, flavorful blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Cabernet Franc will be a welcome addition to any spring or summer supper.
2019 Ehlers Estate Sauvignon Blanc, St. Helena, Napa Valley — pale yellow in the glass with generous aromas of gooseberries, fresh cut grass and citrus peel. Tart gooseberry flavors lead with notes of dried hay, cut grass, citrus and melon. There is ample acidity and a hint of texture from tannins. 13.2% abv. SRP $32
Zippy is the word that best describes this lively Sauvignon Blanc. The flavor profile definitely tends toward gooseberries with plenty of acidity leaning toward tart fruit flavors. The melon flavors and dried hay flavors are in the background. Winemaking included a combination of concrete egg, new French oak and stainless steel for fermentation and aging.
You probably already know that Napa County has given Napa Valley’s wineries the go-ahead to begin opening after temporarily closing them for on-premise tastings due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 15. Wine tasting may look very different than it did, but I trust wineries will do their best to make tastings safe and enjoyable. The quiet end of Napa Valley and Ehlers Estate might just be an excellent place to venture out. Check the website for updates on their opening. If you prefer not to venture out quite yet, don’t forget wines are available for purchase directly from the winery.