Tres Sabores is a small certified organic winery located 5 minutes from the busy Highway 29. Once you are here it feels like a different world; it is very quiet and you are surrounded by vineyards and hillside land with native vegetation. It feels nothing like the crowded atmosphere you will sometimes find along the “wine strip”. Julie Johnson is the owner and the walking tours and tastings are done with her. She has a long history in Napa Valley and was one of the Co-Founders of the popular Frog’s Leap Winery and also co-founded Women for Wine Sense.
Tres Sabores means “three flavors” in Spanish which represent the Terroir or soil type, the Artisan (winemaker) and of course the Varietal (type of grape). We enjoyed the 2005 Rutherford Zinfandel as we walked through the Zinfandel rows of grapes while Julie explained the natural farming techniques that she uses on the property. She was one of the earliest of the modern day vintners in the Napa Valley to use organic farming practices. The 05′ is a delicious vintage with great Zinfandel aromas followed by spicy white and black pepper notes mixed in with the fruit flavors.
Her 2005 Rutherford Perspective Cabernet Sauvignon is also delicious and is a good representation of the local terroir. Tantalizing fruit flavors are represented in this wine with a very smooth silky mouth feel. Weather permitting you will taste outside under the olive groves where there are great views of all the grape rows spread out before you.
In past years, she also made a “Fire-Roasted” Zinfandel Marinade which has an interesting story behind it. She had a bunch of wine (2000 cases which is a significant amount for a small winemaker) stored in a Vallejo warehouse which was destroyed in a fire a few years ago. Most people would have merely cut their losses and moved on or even went out of business, not Julie.
Her “Porque No?” Marinade (which means Why Not, in Spanish) is a “have lemons, make lemonade story!”, as she used the wine that was destroyed in the fire as a key ingredient in her Marinade (it is quite tasty by the way!). We’ve seen stacks of these available as soon as you walk in the Oakville Grocery in Oakville as well as in other boutique shops around the valley.
Julie also makes olive oil from the olive trees that grow on the property. The Porque No wine is a very unique blend, affordably priced and a good “party wine”. For more information and or to join their wine club, visit: www.tressabores.com
NOTE: this review has been identified as needing a major update.