The Wine Entre Femme (“an international think tank of women in wine”) was formed in January 2008 by Sharon Harris of Napa’s Amici Cellars in order to provide a network of women in wine creating networks to help each other. Initially it was formed between Napa and Bordeaux vintners but has since grown to include women from wineries in France, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland and Turkey.
Each year women from both Napa and International wineries make the trip to either the Napa Valley or Bordeaux for a week of touring, sessions, networking and tastings. This year the Wine Entre Femme culminated in their first ever tasting – held at the Metropolitan Club in San Francisco. The International “feel”, of course great wines from both Napa and abroad and the differences tasted between growing regions were definitely an integral part of this tasting.
There were certainly a couple of standouts from the Napa vintners. Dalla Valle’s Estate 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is a remarkable vintage. It is soft in entry but with structure throughout. Elegant spices and notes of smoke show after the mid palate with a long lingering finish. For a young wine its components are already extremely well balanced.
Other wines that stood out are Pam Star’s 2007 Cabernet Franc (tasting 1 day before its release), Philippe Melka’s 2006 Métisse from the Jumping Goat Vineyard in St. Helena – so soft and smooth with power (note their new packaging – a horizontal image of Philippe’s eyes watching you appears on the label.
We’ve always enjoyed William Cole’s elegant wines. They strive to be consistent with their tiny vineyard showcasing the difference nature throws at them each year. Their wines also age well – we had a rare glimpse of their older 2001 vintage.
Other notables include Arns Winery, Phifer Pavitt, Tierra Roja and Spottswood.
A nice selection of Sauterns from France were also available including our favorites (pouring the elegant 2001 and 2004 vintages) from Chateau Sigalas Rabaud, a Premier Cru Classe (dating from 1855) with a small annual production.