is one of the few wineries in the Napa Valley just focusing on a single varietal, in this case on Merlot. We have mentioned the Napa Allure several times and we can mention it again here. The owners, John and Barbara Witt are originally from Ohio and have always enjoyed drinking wine. They found themselves taken multiple annual vacations to the Napa Valley and at some point it made sense to actually move and retire here. That point came in 1997 when they pulled up their roots from Ohio and moved west to the Napa Valley. They purchased their property in 1997 on the west side of the valley just south of St. Helena in the shadow of Mt. St. Jean which is located in the Mayacamas mountain range. The land was site of an old dairy farm and was not planted to vineyards. The property at that time required major work but today has been turned into a stunning estate.
Little did they know how much work building the estate would entail as well as planting a vineyard and then making wine commercially. After soil tests determined that Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot would grow well, the Witt’s chose Merlot based on the fact they have always enjoyed red wines. They produce about 200 cases each year of this wine and the first few vintages were made at the nearby Tres Sabores Winery. 2002 was their first vintage. They do grow a slight amount of Cabernet Sauvignon on the property and this is sometimes used for blending purposes in the Merlot. They have named their wine Repartie which is a play on their last name and means “witty conversation”.
We tried their 2004 vintage. This dark purple wine undergoes extended maceration which leaves the skins in contact with the wine for longer periods of time thus ensuring strong color and flavors. This wine tastes of ripe plums often characteristic of Merlots as well as fine flavors of Vanilla imparted from the type of oak used during the aging. It is slightly smoky on the finish with well-managed structured tannins. We also tried their 2003 vintage. This is a nice soft wine with a similar nose to the 2004 which has benefited from the extra year in the bottle. It is silky smooth on the palate with delicate tannins anchoring the long finish. You can find their wine locally at the Rutherford Grill, Dean & Deluca and sometimes at the Oakville Grocery. They also produce limited quantities of olive oil and lavender from the property. Visit: www.wittestate.com
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: Stopped producing wine commercially
Bill Sturgiswbsturgis57 says
John Witt- Bill Sturgis here . is this you that I know? Send me an email at w.B Sturgis57 @ gmail.com