Spelletich Family Wine Company was founded in 1994 and is truly a 100% family run winery. The husband wife team (Barbara and Timothy Spelletich) and their daughter Kristen are responsible for all aspects of the wine making, marketing, sales and direction of the winery. Barbara is the winemaker and has been since their founding. As the Spelletich’s say, “their secret weapon is Barbara’s Palate”! She has spent significant time in France & other European wine making countries tasting some of their most desirable wines and learning winemaking techniques.
In addition she has considerable experience working in the USA for select distributors. Her focus is on wines that are unique to the actual varietals; i.e., producing wines that really highlight the fruit flavors as well as the fruit aromas. She does this in a variety of ways; picking the fruit when its ripe, pressing the fruit at the appropriate time and not letting the oak dominate the wine. She also is a wine making pioneer in one sense by not allowing some of their red wines to go through the normal secondary fermentation (malolactic fermentation). Their fruit comes from Napa County as well as several other wine producing counties within California.
They produce Chardonnay, Zinfandel (from Amador county – Sierra Nevada foothills), Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and their popular Bodog Red. Bodog was their great great grandfather who was a Hungarian freedom fighter who fought for the independence of Hungary and eventually ended up living in the United States. This is a proprietary wine blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot and Syrah. Seeing the Hungarian history in relation to this wine, it is only fitting that part of the oak program incorporates Hungarian oak!
There is a lot of fruit flavor in this meaty wine (we tried the 2003 vintage) especially blackberries and blueberries as well as some spices including cloves and pleasant nuances of pepper towards the finish. Spelletich often has wines available from slightly older vintages via their website.
Also be sure to try their very balanced Zinfandel port styled wine made from grapes grown in Amador County. This is a very pleasing wine to drink with delicious flavor (not syrupy, not overly sweet and it does not taste “hot” on the finish”.
After 20 years of making wine they have their own tasting room in a business park in the southern part of the city of Napa. This general location is referenced as the “crusher” district based on quite a few wineries that make their wine here and or have tasting rooms in the area. Spelletich’s tasting salon is in the front of the winery, a lab adjoins and the sizable winery facility is located directly behind the tasting salon. Visit: www.spellwine.com
Note: this review has been identified as needing a major update.