Recently, Detert Family Vineyards winemaker, Tom Garrett contacted me regarding the imminent release of something special; essentially single barrel lots of three vintages,(2009 - 2011) representing the pinnacle of his family’s legendary East Block Cabernet Franc in Oakville.
I have followed Detert since the premiere release 2000 vintage and taste them as often as possible. The East Block represents the oldest existing repository of Cabernet Franc DNA in Napa Valley. Replanted in 1979 by Tom’s grandfather. budded with the original clonal material used by previous owner Martin Stelling when he developed the vineyard post-prohibition, 1949. The contiguous West Block originally represented a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc and Riesling before it too was replanted to Cabernet Franc. In 2004, the family introduced their premiere release of Cabernet Sauvignon (pictured above) - a mere one acre in the southwest corner of the property separated from the other blocks by a serene creek.
Tom’s family purchased the vineyard in 1953 and until 2000 sold the fruit to Robert Mondavi (Krug, Mondavi and Opus One) on an exclusive handshake agreement. Along with the Horton property next door, owned by the Garrett cousins (producers of MacDonald Cabernet Sauvignon), the vineyards were considered by Mr. Mondavi the best in all of Napa Valley.
Along with the release of the East Block sets, Tom wanted to bring me up to date on new developments at the vineyard, primarily the replanting of West Block, but also the careful and deliberate replanting of missing vines in East Block. We made an aappointment to meet at the vineyard yesterday and spent several hours walking the property where I filmed a couple video segments.
TOM GARRETT | WITH DOUG WILDER IN DETERT CABERNET SAUVIGNON BLOCK
TOM GARRETT | WITH DOUG WILDER IN DETERT WEST AND EAST BLOCKS
pdwr EXCLUSIVE | 2009 - 2011 DETERT EAST BLOCK
The first professional reviews on the premiere releases of the 2009 - 2011 Detert East Block, representing the non plus ultra of East Block Cabernet Franc barrels. will appear in late December, exclusively at purely domestic wine report. Take advantage of the holiday subscription special.