is owned and operated by Jim and Susie Wycoff. Their vineyard certainly classifies them as one of the smallest commercial wine producers in the valley with a mere 1/3 of an acre planted to vine! The vineyard is located within a residential neighborhood right in the heart of Calistoga. There are actually several vineyards in this part of Calistoga along and near Grant Street and Jim helps manage some of these. The property was purchased in 1967 by Jim’s parents which at that time was planted in walnuts and other crops. Jim planted the first vines on the property in 1990 and made “barn wine” for friends and family for a number of years. Today the vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Jim has no formal winemaking training, but when you make home wine in the Napa Valley you gain experience fast especially when you are surrounded by a plethora of “experts”. With children off to college and the vines well matured the time was right to jump to commercial production. In addition, making home wine from the same vineyard for a number of years gives you the chance to find out what your “fruit” is capable of and experiment with various barrel regiments to find out what works best with the wine. This is truly a small family production – Jim is the vineyard manager and winemaker, Susie and their oldest son help with the sales and marketing.
As of the time of this review they focus on two wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Zinfandel. 80% of the grapes for the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon come from their tiny vineyard on site with the remainder coming from a few select hillside vineyards in the Napa area which adds additional complexity to the wine. This is their first vintage. It is a medium bodied wine with a soft mouth feel. The initial aromatics include some cedar notes, graphite, earthiness and some nice fruit nuances. The fruit continues onto the palate, a burst of flavor including blackberry and blueberry with some underlying notes of chocolate and oak towards the lingering finish. Not bad for a first commercial vintage! The 2005 Napa Valley Zinfandel was sourced from vineyards in the Oakville appellation and is available in extremely limited quantities. We have tried several styles of Zinfandel ranging from really spicy, to more elegant to bold and rich. This vintage falls into the rich category. It is a beefy wine with juicy layered fruit. We’ve had several very jammy zinfandels on this project but this one is only slightly so. The mouth feel is big and plush and is anchored by ripe fruit flavor including blackberry and raspberry. Note the label; it is a sketch of the old house which dates from 1875, located on site overlooking the actual vineyards. You can find their wine locally at the Cal Mart supermarket in Calistoga and several of the wine shops in the Napa Valley. It is also available for sale online. Visit: www.gsvineyards.com
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: Stopped producing wine commercially
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