95 Insider Points
2011 Long Beach Grand Cru Wine Competition:
Best of Class
The more I've tasted the wines of Windsor Oaks, the more impressed I am with their style and substance. This large vineyard has become a valuable source for so many top wineries and they get first pick for their own labels. Not too bad a deal at all.
The 2007 Reserve Cabernet comes from a vineyard at the very top of Chalk Hill, long considered one of Sonoma's best Cabernet sites. Intense and almost opaque, the rich color is a visual delight. The spicy, minty nose is redolent of blackcurrants and cassis. Richly fruited, with dark cherries and sweet vanilla flavors showing prominently, this smooth, supple wine will please any serious Cabernet fan. Very drinkable now, but it has the style and substance to go another 15 or 20 years. - PM
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
There are two reasons Windsor Oaks doesn’t submit for scores: First, their small-production wines are highly limited and hard to find. And second, frankly, they don’t really need to. Their success is no secret; they’ve been providing fruit to some of the region’s most prestigious wineries for years (think Pax, Flowers, and Williams Selyem). When they use those grapes for their personal label, the results make our taste buds stand at attention and forward… March!
Like their flagship wine here: a crème-de-la-crème Reserve Cab from one of California’s most famous appellations and most acclaimed vintages, winning awards galore—Chairman’s Choice, Best of Class, and Double Gold—at the well regarded, 2011 Long Beach Grand Cru Wine Competition. From one of the crown jewels of Sonoma and Napa, it’s pure luxury, small in production (only 210 cases!) big on flavor: complex and richly layered with ripe black cherry, spiced vanilla cola, and currants. We call it mountain estate-grown glory sure to please any serious Cabernet lover now and over the next 15 years.
Inside Fact:The Chalk Hill AVA encompasses the northeast corner of the larger Russian River AVA. It was established in June of 1988, and named for its unique, volcanically-derived, and chalky-white ash soils. The upper hills lend themselves to the production of excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, along with Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
The rich color is intense and almost opaque, a real visual delight. The spicy, minty nose is redolent of blackcurrants and cassis. This wine is smooth, supple, and richly fruited, with prominent dark cherries and sweet vanilla flavors. Two years of patient aging in French oak barrels produced a silky, balanced finish that leaves us wanting more and more.
Very drinkable now, with the style and substance to go another 15 or 20 years.
Windsor Oaks has always been a passion. A journey the owners Bob Stein and his wife Renee want to share. For the past 20 years, under the stewardship of Bob and his estate manager Douglas Lumgair, Windsor Oaks has flourished. During the past 7 years, the Estate saw the addition of Julie Lumgair to the team for grape sales and as Winemaker for both artisan and custom crush customers.
With a deeply connected customer following, the objective has been and will continue to be, to explore the full potential of the Estate grapes by producing vineyard block and clone-specific artisan wines, as well as selling them to high-end wineries for their own fine wines.
While holding to so much that has drawn existing and devoted customers to this hidden gem, there is a commitment to exploring additional, wine brands, hospitality facilities and guest experiences in keeping with a renewed Estate Vision. It is the aim of Bob and Renee Stein to bring together talented individuals that understand the Journey of food and wine in a wine country lifestyle venue; a team that will leverage all of the unique elements and essence of this little-known 710-acre Sonoma County Estate; a team that embody the stewardship of that journey for all future visitors to the Estate.
Bob is looking forward to taking a more active role in the management of the Estate, and has already begun the process to expand its capabilities through the staffing. Most notably, Douglas will continue his long-term relationship and management of the estate vineyards and farming, with Julie Lumgair moving to a consulting brand ambassador and winemaker position. A new consulting winemaker has also been brought in, with Margaret Davenport bringing a long history of larger scale winemaking knowledge, as well as an appreciation for high-end winemaking with past experience at Clos Du Bois and Passalaqua wineries.
Sure, this wine goes great with a grilled steak- but for something different, try Duck Bolognaise or Wagyu Beef Burgers. Of course, aged cheeses and chocolate truffles are also terrific.