Sunday, February 15, 2009


Wine is a very subjective matter. One man's Cheval
Blanc is another man's Two Buck Chuck. That's one of the things that makes it so interesting- sure there are certain criteria that all wine must fit in order to be good, but that doesn't mean someone is going to like it. One of the coolest experiences a wine lover can have is loving a wine then meeting the people who make it and loving them too. You get this multidimensional appreciation for the bottles. You can taste their efforts and the love and dedication they put in to their work. You ultimately enjoy the wine even more. Meet Bill Cadman, the owner of Tulocay Winery, a small boutique winery in Napa. And, the first real winemaker I ever met when I got into the wine business. When I met him I had no idea that he was different from other winemakers in Napa, I hadn't visited any others yet. I thought all of Napa would greet me so warmly and set me up on a picnic table to taste through vintages and vintages while watching the sunset over rolling green hills. I of course, was mistaken. Not that other winemaker's aren't as nice, but their wineries are much, much bigger and they have tasting rooms, where you taste with an employee, not the owner. Tulocay seems almost at odds with the big business that is Napa. For one, his wines are of a completely different style. His Pinot's and Chardonnays are exquisite and Burgundian, meaning lighter and very little to no oak. He even manages to make Zinfandel taste sophisticated and oddly European. His wines have more subtlety but yet there is also a fruity and playful quality to them, which may be because Tulocay is a winery that doesn't take itself too seriously. When we went to Napa last weekend, we looked Bill up and went for a visit. I took my father and stepmother with me and we sat for three hours on his picnic table, drinking wine and watching the sunset over the rolling green hills. Bill was as warm and funny as ever, and though my father and stepmom may have been scandalised by some of Bill's better dirty jokes, they still bought a case. As did we. Look for a review of the Tulocay Zinfandel on Vine-yl, as soon as we find the right album. Bill requested a certain piece by Bach and we must find the version that will best compliment this truly awesome wine.

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