Thursday, May 22, 2014

Winechat with Cairdean Estate

Cairdean Estate wines

Cairdean Estate  is husband and wife Edwin and Stacia Williams, and they come from a background of science - she in software, he an aerospace engineer. However, while their careers were important, they obviously care more about family. This can be seen first in their move to Fresno, where Stacia could take her home winemaking to another level by studying Enology and Viticulture, then moving to Napa Valley (St Helena specifically) so their son could attend high school there as they pursued their vinous dreams. Very cool.

After much searching for their home in Napa Valley, it was their elder son Kyle that led them to the quaint town of St. Helena. He was entering high school and very much wanted to attend the public high school there. In their searches for land that would allow a quintessential wine country lifestyle, they settled on a beautiful 50 acre parcel right on highway 29 in Saint Helena just north of downtown.

After moving from Fresno to St. Helena in 2010, Edwin and Stacia embraced their vision and created Cairdean Vineyards. Cairdean is Scottish Gaelic for friends, which reflects their belief that wine is meant to be shared by those held close to your heart. The Cairdean symbol is a representation of that belief with the four hearts always present and brought together in the center by friendship.

They currently farm two vineyards. Acquaintance Vineyard, in the Coombsville AVA Napa Valley, is 10 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec, and Merlot. The Confidant Vineyard is about 28 acres of Pinot Noir and Syrah, and is located in the Russian River Valley AVA.

Cairdean Estate allowed each participant to choose 2 wines from their collection to sample for this winechat. Do you know how difficult that was? :)

Cairdean Estate logo

Tasting Notes

2010 Cairdean Estate Malbec
87% Malbec and 13% Petite Sirah; aged in 20% new oak, all French; purple with red edges; plum, blackberry, forest, herb, and anise aromas; berry, subtle mocha, vanilla, and dark fruit flavors; medium body into a balanced, lingering finish; 173 cases produced; cork closure; 14.2% ABV; SRP $40.00.
Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2010
Grapes are a mix from across Napa Valley AVA’s; aged in 70% new french, 30% 1 or 2 year old French/American; deep red in color; earth, spice and eucalyptus aromas; dark fruit, forest, currants, spice, and pleasant oaky flavors; medium-bodied with tannins evident, with some backbone for cellaring, yet pleasant to drink now; 850 cases produced; cork closure; 14.4% ABV; SRP $76.
From the wines we sampled and the cheers for the other wines coming from participants, Cairdean is a winery to search out for years to come. Eminently drinkable on their own and even better with food, the quality in the vineyard and winery shine through.

#winechat is a social chat on Twitter, occurring every Wednesday evening (except holidays) from 6:00pm -7:00pm PST / 9:00pm – 10:00pm EST. It's an on-line conversation with wineries, distributors, sommeliers, wine writers—anyone interested in a wine conversation to improve themselves and their business. All are welcome!

These wines were provided for tasting purposes.

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