Jana Winery has been producing wines since 2003 with a mix of both Napa grown wines and wines from outside of the county. Founder Scott Harvey has been making wines since the mid 1970’s; he brings decades of wine making experiences to Jana wines. Scott became intrigued with wines while in Germany as a high school exchange student. Later he worked at several wineries in Amador County – gaining valuable experience in his early 20’s. This was in the late 1970’s.
Some 20 years later in 1996 Scott became Partner, Winemaker & President of Foliex a Deux Winery working with renowned winemaker Dr. Richard Peterson. Scott was instrumental in creating the “Menage a Trois” wines – which have become well-known and well distributed across the country. Eventually Foliex a Deux Winery was sold to the Trinchero Family.
In addition to the Jana Wines (named after his wife), Scott owns and operates two other labels; Scott Harvey which is Amador County based and has a tasting room in the small town of Sutter Creek – and InZINerator which are Zinfandel wines geared towards a younger generation.
Scott also is the owner of the oldest documented Zinfandel vineyard in the entire country (Vineyard 1869) – located in Amador County, the oldest of the vines date back to 1869. Appropriately he makes a wine simply called 1869 from these ancient head pruned limited yielding old vines. This vineyard land was originally part of several gold mining claims.
There are only three vineyards in Napa county at the time of our latest update that we know of producing Riesling and Jana Wines has access to one of those. This is in dramatic contrast to earlier times in the Napa Valley when Riesling was a much more planted varietal. The Jana version is made in a European style; Scott was influenced by this style of wine while studying at Weinbau Schule in Neustadt Germany. It is a very dry wine – the unique label even shows a scale ranging from dry to sweet so you know right away what type of wine this will be. The grapes are picked at a low brix (18.5), the wine shows excellent acidity and a lower alcohol then some of the American counterpart Rieslings. The 2006 vintage shows pretty honeysuckle aromas on the bouquet leading to a palate with flavors of pear and other tropical fruit notes.
The 2005 Zinfandel also has a scale on the label between “judging wine” and “European” more food friendly styled wine – with the bar on this wine being close to the “judging wine” side. The grapes are from a 100+ year old vineyard. This is a rich full bodied Zinfandel with a very aromatic nose and hints of mint and black cherries.
The Cathedral wine was named for Cathedral Rock in Sedona Arizona and is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, although the overall blend changes every year. Their 2004 version is a very elegant European style Bordeaux blend; the fruit is not picked so ripe that the final wine is overly fruit driven. This wine has a slight hint of pyrazines which is one of the components in bell peppers and other vegetables (some people enjoy this aspect – some people may not), but in any case, it does not overpower as this wine is very well balanced.
Jana also produces the “One Last Kiss” Label, which are two wines, a red & a white. This label is a tribute to a group of ‘wild’ women from Arizona who during a visit to the Napa Valley were convinced to leave their kiss marks all over a poster board. Their kiss marks were memorialized on the labels of this wine!
If you find yourself in the foothills of the Sierras in the town of Sutter Creek stop by the Scott Harvey Tasting room or if you are in the Napa area look for their wines at Silenus Vintners, south of Yountville. www.janawinery.com
NOTE: this review has been identified as needing a major update.
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