Bell Wine Cellars - 3 Pack
$59.99 + $5 shipping
1 2005 Bell Wine Cellars Merlot, Yountville, Napa Valley
1 2006 Bell Wine Cellars Claret Napa Valley
1 2006 Bell Wine Cellars Petit Verdot Massa Ranch, Yountville, Napa Valley
CT Links above.
Looks like an interesting trio. We don’t often see Petite Verdot around here.
Fun to see the Petit Verdot have the upper hand to the Cab in the last bottle. What can we look for when tasting an [almost] straight up Petit Verdot?
Interesting, don’t think I’ve seen Hungarian Oak used in a wine before.
Hard to resist a single-varietal Petit Verdot when it comes around. What’s the new/used breakdown on the oak here? With treatments pushing two years, that can make a pretty big difference.
99 cases?! Am I reading that right? [redacted]
Hm. Interesting, indeed.
Wow, great audio blog from the winery today… I recommend you all give a listen!
It’s on there, on the winery and club only section.
Looks like $115 worth of wine at full retail so about half off here. Great deal on some great wines. I told myself I wasn’t buying any more wine this month after buying up 4 cases of the Cameron Hughes Lot 179 (Havens Black and Blue) but I guess the month is almost over
From what I recall, Hungarian Oak has a somewhat “rougher” flavor profile than French or American oak (though American can vary widely), so you can only really use it in moderation and with wines that will really stand up to it (i.e., hence you never see it used for whites).
It is a pretty big discount from there website. Has anyone tried any of these wines before?
Since I seem to do it often, for those of us that haven’t had a Petit Verdot before (like me), here’s some more info on the varietal: Petit Verdot Wiki
Greetings from Bell Wine Cellars. We are very pleased to present our trio of wines – each representing our winemaking philosophy based on appellation, varietal and terroir. I often describe our wines as Classic in style – Old World wines made with New World grapes. Elegance and balance dictate our style.
The 2005 Merlot is grown on the winery estate and is often described as a Cabernet lovers Merlot. Rich and full bodied, the wine shows why so many of the world’s great wines are produced from this varietal. Sadly Merlot lost it’s direction in California – sadly because it does make a beautiful wine. Our Merlot is blended with 2% of our signature Cabernet sauvignon, the Clone 6, a selection imported over 150 years ago. This gives the wine a firm structure, depth and ageability. Not only will this wine cellar beautifully, but I suspect you might stump a few of your friends if you were to brown bag a bottle!
Our 2006 Petit verdot is grown in the Yountville appellation, and is a single vineyard wine from the Massa Ranch. The wine is unusual in that it is 99% varietal so that one is able to taste and appreciate the full varietal attributes of Petit verdot – deep color and firm tannins. Because we grow these grapes in the Yountville region, an area one might consider a little cool for the varietal, we obtain a third neat attribute – great natural acidity. This makes the Massa Ranch Petit verdot perfect for blending into our Bordeaux blends, giving the wines the acidity to allow cellaring.
The 2006 Claret Cabernet sauvignon is a wine that has gained a lot of attention amongst our winery visitors. Nicknamed our “Bordeaux blend with a twist”, it comprises 9 different grapes. Four Cabernet sauvignon clones, highlighting my cabernet clonal work at BV, are blended with Petit verdot, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet franc. Then, instead of fining the wine with egg whites or gelatine to reduce the tannins, we add some of our Sierra Foothills Syrah to add softness. As the French did centuries ago, this adds fruit to the nose and palate, as well as depth of color, without detracting from the lovely supple Cabernet tannins us cabernet drinkers enjoy. For us Cabernet drinkers, this is a wine that does not scream for food; and that is a beautiful thing.
I look forward to sharing these wines with you and participating in the discussion. Never having participated in an online discussion, it may take time to understand all the abbreviations!
Anthony Bell, Founder and Winemaker
Although one sees this oak used rather often, it is not something I intend to do again! One of those situations where a barrel vendor suggested we give it a try and we succumbed. I found the Hungarian oak to give a very rough tannin structure to the wine and so we blended it down in the final bottlings.
Bell!! Awesome! I just visited them in August. Don the tasting room guy was AWESOME and totally hospitable to my friend and me.
I tasted the merlot, and I would agree with the “cab lover’s merlot” assessment. It’s not a flabby boring kind of merlot. We did not taste the PV or the claret, but we did taste the clone 6 cab, and it was outstanding.
In for 3 (how can I resist?)
Tell Don hi–I am one of the women who showed up with the recumbent bike tour guy out of the blue. Loved him, loved Bell.
If you have visited our website you will see that several of the wines we make are produced in very limited quantities. Some as little as 25 cases. I guess you can do that when you are both owner and winemaker. It allows us to produce wines that we can offer guests that are both educational and enjoyable. The Petit verdot is one such wine. That is why we have so little CS in it - we want you to enjoy the true varietal typicity.
Thank you very much Linda. I will pass the message on in the morning. I have had several Master Someliers around the country tell me that the Merlot brown bagged would fool a lot of folks - glad you enjoyed it.
Deep color, firm tannins (both hallmarks of the varietal) notes of violets in the aromas, and in our case, good acidity because of the cool growing area.