Eagle Eye was founded by Bill & Roxanne Wolf who both left previous careers. Unlike some who come to the Napa Valley and start a winery with a dream in the eye and leave much of the work to others, both Bill and Roxanne have jumped into the wine business with a well-rounded seriousness not often found by "newcomers". Before they actually started their wine label they certainly did their homework having taken numerous classes at UC Davis, gaining other wine certification as well as spending significant learning time in the vineyards in International wine regions.
They currently manage about 9 acres in the Wooden Valley area of eastern Napa County. It is planted to select varietals including several clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. This vineyard was the site of a very old walnut orchard. Before planting, the walnut trees were removed including all their root systems which if left buried, will carry a fungus detrimental to grapes. Holes up to 14 feet deep for each tree had to be dug in order to properly ensure the removal of the root systems! Alaska humus was brought down specially from Alaska; this is highly prized incredibly nutrient rich soil that has been formed by nearly 10,000 years of post ice age decomposition. It is soil that because of the long winters does not see the extent of microbial breakdown that you have in warmer climates.
The owners are also proponents of the Soil Food Web which is the basis to ensure a very healthy vineyard. Their vineyard is farmed organically and Bill was one of the pioneers in the use of Compost tea on wine grapes. The actual vineyard is surrounded by multiple varieties of olive trees which they do harvest, press and then bottle for commercial sale. In addition to their vineyard, they source fruit from various high end vineyards almost exclusively in the Napa area. They focus entirely on blended wines, often coming up with some unique blends that you will not find anywhere else. Their wines are meant to be consumed at the time of purchase, are typically more light bodied in style and are not huge fruit driven high alcohol wines. Combining their delicious wines with the unique labels produces a complete package and really helps separate this winery from the rest of the "pack". The labels are all based on original paintings by Roxanne - if you see one of the labels you will never forget this wine based on the unique artwork! Each wine has its own unique "eagle eye" label.
Although young, this winery has already shown amazing resilience. In 2004 a huge warehouse storing 4 vintages of their wines completely burnt down. They lost all their wine which effectively put them out of business. Despite the fire and incredible loss, they still had the sources for the grapes and their own vineyard and it took a few years until they were able to fully resume operations. Today they typically produce 2-3 whites and 6 to 8 red wines annually. All wines are usually produced in quantities of 400 to 800 cases with the exception being their wildly popular non vintage Voluptuous label. The version we tried contained fruit from 2002, 04 & 05. Aside from Port, it is almost impossible to find a current release non vintage red wine from Napa and this one is a treat. It is a unique blend of Cab Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and Sangiovese. As the owners say, "this wine does not kill food". Along with this statement we can add, "this wine and their other wines will not "kill" your wallet as all are very affordably priced, especially by Napa standards.
The Voluptuous is light bodied with a soft mouth feel with hints of blackberry and cherry on the palate. They have taken a wine such as Pinot Gris which is somewhat lean and light by itself and blended in some Chardonnay. The Chardonnay gives it some structure, more of a rounded mouth feel as well as viscosity and color. Their Muscat Canelli is to die for with citrus aromas and tropical flavors on the palate. What is nice is the sugar on the finish totally drops off so you are not left with a syrupy sweet taste in your mouth. Look for their second label, Eagle Eye Limited in the near future. Visit: www.eagleeyewine.com