Is 2012 the Best Vintage Ever for Napa Valley?

Members of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers seemed almost disappointed by how little they had to report on Wednesday, September 5 at the annual harvest press conference held at PlumpJack’s newest winery, Odette, in the Stags Leap district. “We’re here with breaking news that 2012 is going to be the best vintage ever,” joked Amy Warnock, the viticulturist for Stagecoach Vineyards on Atlas Peak.

“It’s actually been warmer days but cooler nights which makes for a signature Napa Valley vintage,” says Jon Ruel, the President of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Winemaker/COO for Trefethen Family Vineyards. Harvest is well underway (about two-three weeks earlier than last year, agreed all the vintners) for white varieties, with pinot noir and then cabernet sauvignon to follow. “Pick dates that are determined by ripeness are always preferable to pick dates determined by impending rain storms,” says Warnock. Ruel announced that he has started picking for Mumm’s sparkling wine and harvest for still wines will begin this week.

“There is a renewed optimism,” says Jon Conover of Odette, referring to both the Giants season and  the effect of the 2012 vintage on the Napa Valley industry. “The grapes aren’t in the barn, but I think it’s looking pretty good so far,” said Conover. (Also, could be said for both.)

Even with high yields, Warnock says she is having trouble keeping up with winery client’s demands and announced a few new plantings at Stagecoach, including Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc and Roussanne. She also broke the news that demand for Merlot is back on the rise.

What can we expect the 2012 vintage to taste like? Expect acidity to be nice and high, thanks to those cool nights — a great thing for white wines and for age worthy reds as well.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2012

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Your New Labor Day Grilling Tradition: The Perfect Cabernet Burger

If you’ve never had a Cabernet burger, let this be the beginning of a new Labor Day grilling tradition. And of course, the tradition wouldn’t be complete without a great bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet to go with your juicy burger. We may be biased, but we suggest the newest Cabernet to our collection, Adaptation. Now available for purchase at the tasting room at Odette Estate Winery.

2 pounds ground beef
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons Adaptation Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced


  • Preheat your grill for high heat.
  • In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, Cabernet, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and garlic using your hands. Form the mixture, mold into 8 hamburger patties.
  • Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill patties 5 minutes per side, or until well done.
  • Serve on a crusty baguette with grilled onions, peppery arugula, and a slice of brie or a smear of good goat cheese. It is a Cabernet burger after all…


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2011 ADAPTATION CHARDONNAY                           750ml, $32

An approachable fun interpretation to Napa Valley Chardonnay!  Aromas of citrus, tropical fruit, and acacia flower. On the palate flavors of green apple, guava, and quince, backed by refreshing acidity and a pleasing finish. We are proud to produce a Chardonnay that we feel is a great representation of the broader Napa AVA

2010 ADAPTATION CABERNET SAUVIGNON              750ml, $42

This fun loving Cabernet opens with bright red fruit aromas of raspberry, cherry and dried cranberry with background notes of vanilla, clove, and bittersweet chocolate. The palate offers a concentratedcore with layers of black currant, red cherry, cocoa powder and smoky oak. A full-bodied, Napa Valley Cabernet, this wine is sure to have you refilling your glass!

We will release the inaugural vintage of 2011 Odette Estate Cabernet Sauvignon in 2013. In the meantime, Adaptation wines are currently available in our tasting room.

Adaptation is the term used both in literary and scientific circles to define the progression of either a piece of written work or a life force from one state to another.   Adaptation Wines represent the progression of wine produced in individual appellations to an anthology of single varietal labeled wines blended from the best AVAs, representing a pure expression of Napa Valley.