Ahnfeldt Wines was founded and is run by lawyer/vintner/farmer Bruce Ahnfeldt. His roots are in agriculture having growing up in what is now called the Silicon Valley in the San Jose area. During his childhood this valley was a big prune, apricot and cherry growing region and Bruce leased and farmed apricots for a few years. Now, of course all this farm land is paved over. Bruce is a long time Napa resident having moved to the area in the 1980’s. Soon thereafter he planted his first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard and has since planted additional vineyards mostly in the southern part of the Valley – Coombsville region close to the town of Napa.
For many years the fruit from the vineyards was sold to mostly large Napa based wineries. Every year, a friend continued to encourage Bruce to make his own wine since he already had the high quality fruit and finally introduced him to the well-known winemaker Craig MacLean. MacLean has made their wines since the first vintage was released in 2002. In 2003 Ahnfeldt formed a Vineyard management company run by his son who is a partner with his own label called G Wine Cellars.
His son is entirely responsible for the vineyard management of their own planted acres. Their first vintage was a Merlot and right out of the gate this earned an excellent 94 point rating from Wine Spectator. Not bad for a first vintage! Note their creatively designed label – it is modeled after a statue that Bruce had commissioned in honor of his first horse.
We tried the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a medium bodied wine with great color, notes of cherry and cedar on the palate. It is very well balanced with smooth tannins that do not overpower. Being a lawyer, having a legal term as the name of one of their wines is very appropriate! Quid Pro Quo was supposed to be a one time vintage made for Premier Napa Valley, an annual trade tasting & fundraiser event held in the Napa area. However this wine was purchased by Dr. York, owner of the San Francisco 49ers football team and was such a hit at the auction, that its now an annual production!
Their 2005 vintage is a delightful blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and a touch of Cabernet Franc. As of press time they have two physical locations for tasting in the Napa Valley – at Uncorked at Oxbow and at Vintner’s Collective, both in the town of Napa. Visit: www.ahnfeldtwines.com