Proof Red Wine
What do you do when you have a mixed white grape vineyard and Prohibition is about to start? If you are the owners of Proof Vineyard, you plant the darkest red grapes between the white grapes. Then you harvest all of the grapes together to make a light red which can be used by the church as sacramental wine. Ninety nine years later, we harvest the grapes from those same red vines separately and make them into one barrel of an intense and singular wine.
Only 40 feet beyond Proof Vineyard, the precisely trellised rows of Napa Cabernet peer dismissively at the untrellised anarchy of these old vines. However, the crushed blackberry, lavender, Damson plum and star anise flavors of Proof Red argue for the brilliance of a different era. This wine has a sense of place so vivid that I wanted to hang out and stay for a while. It offers a connection to a place that once was, and still is, very valid. The wine? Simply put, it is unlike anything from the rest of Napa Valley. All of the ripeness and opulence that Napa offers is there, yet there is an added dimension; a compelling sense of place, that is unique. When we open a bottle in our kitchen, we can easily smell the crushed berries (cherry and blackberry) and spices (cinnamon and star-anise) from 10 feet away.
Proof Red is immense, complex and absolutely enjoyable.