Richard Perry Vineyards dates from 1988 when the owners Richard and Sheila Perry planted 20 acres in the Coombsville region just east of the town of Napa. The vineyard location is all hillside with most of the vineyards terraced. It backs right up against the large Napa Valley Preserve so the nearby land will never be developed and will retain its natural state. The Perry’s purchased the property in the late 1970’s and at the time weren’t sure what this would lead to as they did not have a background in vineyard management.
Fortunately their nearby neighbor is Caldwell Cave Winery and over time the owner John Caldwell gave them invaluable advice about vineyards and provided the original impetus to become grape growers. For many years they sold the grapes to other area wineries such as Rombauer and Newton. Then in 1997 a winemaker at Rombauer who was already purchasing their fruit noted the high quality of the vineyard sources and mentioned they should try making their own wine. As a result their first vintage was made at Rombauer in 1997.
Today they focus on two varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Two French clones are used for their Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 and 337, each of which contributes its own character and complexity. We tried the 2005 Syrah. This is a rich juicy mouth watering wine that is well layered on the palate. The word approachable can easily be tagged onto a description of this wine. The aromas are fruit and spice driven with blackberry and white pepper followed by more blackberry and blueberry on the palate; nuances of chocolate and spices form the backbone to a slightly smoky incredibly long finish. The mouth feel is super smooth anchored by a well structured tannins.
The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% varietal and the nose is a mix of plum and cherry with an exotic cinnamon and all spice characteristic. Let this wine open up before drinking as additional aromatics and flavors will creep out. Chocolate, spices and a flavor that can only be described at ripe blackberry juice still covered in dust is present representing nice earthy terroir driven characteristics.
All their wine is made at the state of the art new Porter Family Winery. A large vintage is a production of about 1800 cases. You can taste Richard Perry wines at the first rate tasting collective, Vintner’s Collective, located near downtown Napa. Visit: www.richardperrywines.com