released their first vintage in 1998; their focus is on white and red Rhone & Spanish varietals and they source from their own vineyards near Clearlake in Lake County and at the base of Howell Mountain in Napa County. This is a winery producing wines from varietals not often seen in the Napa Valley. The founders are Sam Spencer and Wendy Roloson and the winery takes its name from their last names. The La Herradura Vineyard near Howell Mountain is property that was in Sam’s family for many years and is the source for their delicious Syrah. Much of this vineyard is planted on very steep slopes with shallow rocky soils. As a result, the yields are low, the grapes are small and the skins are thick. All this combines to produce wine that is rich and concentrated. Sam has a long history in the wine business having traveled, worked & made wine in numerous wine regions world-wide as well as partnering in a popular wine bar in San Francisco. Wendy is the entrepreneur in the partnership, focusing on all aspects of running a small winery other than the winemaking. She is also responsible for their simple and colorful labels.
We tried the 2004 La Herradura Syrah which is actually blended with a touch of Viognier, a white varietal. Although blended in only a small percentage this varietal ads a richness to the aromatics that you may not have with just the Syrah. Blackberries, plum (think Santa Rosa Plum) and other mineralities are found on the richly flavored palate. Enjoy the very long finish on this wine! Their 2006 Viognier comes from vines planted in 1972 just north of Calistoga in Sonoma County (one of the older Viognier vineyards in California). This is a clean crisp wine with rich floral aromas and notes of pineapple on the palate. The 2005 Palatera is a unique blend of Syrah, Carignane, and Valdiguié all from vineyards in Napa county. Now there are two varietals you won’t see used often in Napa wine and both sources are from very old vines (50 year old Valdigue & 115 year old Carignane planted in the extreme north of Napa Valley). This is an easy drinking wine with a nice soft mouth feel. Spencer Roloson also makes several wines from the Grenache varietal and again we’ve only seen this varietal from maybe a handful of Napa wineries. Their total production is about 5000 cases.
Website down – 10.15.11 – still in business?
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: Stopped producing wine commercially