is an anomaly in the Napa Valley winery scene. At the time of this review their focus is entirely on very limited productions of two varietals, each quite different from each other – a Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon. This winery is owned and operated by Michael Logan who is also the winemaker. His first vintage was in 2003. These varietals are two of Michael’s favorites as he has long enjoyed Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux France and the Pinot noirs coming out of Burgundy, California and Oregon. He took his first trip to the Napa Valley while he was in college, which spawned an International interest in wine; his travels abroad helped him become an International collector of fine wine. His background actually involves technology and computer consulting so without any wine making experience, he hired a winemaker for the first few years. However, Michael would work side by side with his winemaker and finally became proficient in winemaking to be able to produce his own wines.
No, Dovetail is not named after a Dove’s Tail, rather those who are familiar with woodworking will know that Dovetail is a term that describes a joint which tightly locks two distinct pieces of wood together. Taken in a winemaking context, Dovetail Vineyards uses this term to describe how their farming practices are tightly interwoven and tied into their artisan winemaking. Finding inspiration for the name came from an unlikely source, Michael was listening to the radio one day and heard this term from a National Public Broadcasting (NPR) broadcaster!
Dovetail understands the importance of hands on control in the vineyards. As Michael says, “we are growing wine instead of simply farming grapes” – this sums up their philosophy very well. They spend significant time within the vineyards throughout the year – working on trellising, thinning, canopy management and other vineyard details. His Pinot noir is all Sonoma County grown and is sourced from various locations including the well-known Russian River region. He produces one appellation blend and two vineyard designated Pinot noirs. Native yeasts are used whenever possible for the fermentation of his wines. We started our tasting with the 2006 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. This is a stylish wine with good color and clarity in the glass. It is fruit forward, easy drinking and medium bodied. His two vineyard designated Pinot Noirs are made in extremely low quantities usually in the 100 to 200 case range. The best way to secure any of his wines is by joining the mailing list.
The 2006 Windsor Oaks Pinot Noir is sourced from the Russian River in neighboring Sonoma County and is described by Michael in the following way, “This wine stylistically takes Pinot Noir to the edge”! It is a darker than your normal Pinot Noir but has a subtle nose that is not indicative of the actual richness and complexity in flavor on the palate. Lets just say it doesn’t have many characteristics of a “typical” lighter style Pinot Noir. In any case it is big, both in flavor and structure and Cabernet lovers who don’t normally drink Pinot would be well off trying this wine!
Michael also owns a vineyard (the Ashley Vineyard – named in memory of his mother) in the Oak Knoll district. It is a small vineyard – about an acre and he handles all the vineyard management for this. He farms this intensively and in late Spring often drops up to 1/2 the grapes (always a farmer’s nightmare to lose fruit in this fashion!) to ensure only richest most flavorful fruit is used. As a result he limits the vines to merely 1 cluster of grapes per shoot. Depending on the size of crop this acre produces between 100 and 200 cases/vintage. The 2005 vintage is a rich wine both in aroma and on the palate. The bouquet starts out slightly floral with nuances of graphite and pencil lead. The palate has great depth of fruit including black cherry, wild currants and blackberry. The finish is well structured and lingers long after you swallow. Visit: www.dovetailvineyards.com
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: Stopped producing wine commercially
mike glaze says
i live in rutherford. i was given a bottle of dovetail 2006 proprietary red by craig and kathryn hall. i have been trying to find info on this wine without success. any suggestions on what to google? thank you.
i can get up in hold with the owner Michael his a close friend of mine
I have a bottle of 2003 Dovetail Cabernet Ashley Oak Knolls but can’t find any information on it. Can you help me please? I don’t know how much it would go for. Not sure if I should drink it or save it longer. Lol