Beaucanon Estate is a private winery which has been producing Bordeaux style wines in Napa since 1986. They were originally located in the winery building that currently houses Provenance Winery on Highway 29. Beaucanon is run by a brother sister team whose family have a long history of winemaking in France dating back to the mid 1740′s – the brother is the winemaker. Everything about this winery is true to their Bordeaux roots, including the vineyard management and winemaking. Rows are small and tightly spaced and terroir specific clones are used based on soil types. All their wines are estate grown with the exception of their Sauvignon Blanc which comes from a vineyard at about 3000 feet in Lake County which is appropriately named the “High Vineyard”. They have planted this varietal on site and in the next couple of years their wines will be completely estate produced.
They have three good size vineyards in the Napa area of which they carefully choose the fruit they want and sell the rest to other wineries. Soil analysts from France surveyed their vineyards and made recommendations for where to plant certain varietals including specific rootstocks which would perform well. They use a variety of rootstalk for their Cabernet Sauvignon including a French Clone (337) which typically produces very small fruit with intense concentrated flavors. The philosophy of the owners regarding wine pricing comes from Europe; a good wine should be enjoyed on a daily basis with food and be available at a reasonable price. This has carried through to all of their pricing. Even their Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon’s are priced where many of the local high end wineries start their pricing. Their reserve wines are made in low quantities and are only produced during certain cool weather years as quality is of the utmost importance.
We tried several delicious wines including their 2006 Sauvignon Blanc. This wine has a very floral nose with hints of mint and other herbs. It is a crisp wine with flavors of honeysuckle and melons. Their Merlot is not your typical California Merlot, i.e. it does not have any jammy characteristics. It is a well structured deep red Bordeaux blended wine with a fantastic and complex nose. Pleasant flavors of red cherry, blackberry and hints of oak follow through on the palate. Their Reserve Cabernet is a gem of a wine. As of press time we tried their current vintage, a 2000 which was already 7 years old by the time it reached our lips. This wine can easily age another 10 years but was already drinking nicely. It has velvety tannins and traces of cherries on the nose as well as a touch of mocha and vanilla from the 2 years in French Oak. The winery sits on a historical property with ownership that dates back to General Vallejo’s time – and more recently was in the hands of golf Pro Johnny Miller. Beaucanon has plans to take appointments for tastings in the next few years as well as construct a cave on site. For the latest details visit: www.beaucanonestate.com