May 1993

iNTRODUCING … 1989 Cabernet Franc

If it is true, as reported, that the average interval between purchase and consumption of a bottle of wine in California is 20 minutes, it seems likely that most wine is consumed long before it has reached its full potential.  Contra the trend, we are trying to extend the holding period at the winery for our wines, so that the aging potential will be at least partially realized at the time of release.  Thus, when most wineries are releasing their 1990 Cabernets, we are releasing our 1989.  We regret the hiatus in the supply, which occurred when the ’88 sold out at Christmas, but patience has improved the wine.  We believe you will thank us for it.

Like all the Casa red wines, the ’89 Cabernet Franc is remarkable for its delicacy and softness.  We have deliberately minimized filtration to preserve every possible flavor nuance.  Its color is a beautiful deep purple and it is intensely aromatic.  After almost 30 months in wood, this is a mature Bordeaux-style wine.  The oak flavors are subtle and the red-fruit berry flavors are strong.  You don’t need to wait to enjoy it, though your continued patience in the cellar will always be rewarded.  $172.80/case, plus $12.53 CA sales tax if applicable.


Tinto has surpassed Chenin Blanc as our best selling wine; and Tinto sales continue to increase, particularly from the sales room, where skeptics have the opportunity to taste.  We have tapped a great need for a moderately priced red wine which is soft and easy to drink without being wimpy or boring.  It took a little time for the nobility of this authentic Napa Valley field mix to gain recognition, but now people routinely come especially for the Tinto – even strangers who are drawn by its reputation.

Tinto is the product of a family vineyard planted some forty years ago by our predecessor at the Kirkham Oakville property.  The precise varietal constitution of this vineyard is not easily stated because the identification of some of the varieties is a matter of debate.  A fact never published before now is that the vineyard includes a small fraction of white grapes, French Colombard.  In the early days we blended the Colombard with the Chenin Blanc until it was pointed out that Chianti is traditionally about 15% white grapes.  Guess what?  The Colombard comprises about 15% by tonnage.  Nothing is by accident.

Most of the older Tinto vintages are available on our reserve list, including the historic first year, 1980, which is still in good shape.  The older Tintos have developed some sediment in the bottle.  Our filtration techniques were pretty primitive in the early days – a fact that probably makes the wines better today.  They will benefit from decanting.  If you are a Tinto loyalist (or even if you’re not), you should treat yourself to a splurge in the reserve list.  You won’t be disappointed.


Casa Nuestra will sponsor the Napa Valley Folk Festival again this year on October 8,9, and 10 at the Napa Expo Fairgrounds in Napa.  This year’s three-day musical extravaganza will present twenty musical performances featuring Sylvia Tyson, Peter Yarrow and Odetta.  Don’t miss it!  Get in on advance sale ticket discounts by writing to P.O. Box 10227, Napa, CA 94581 or telephone (707) 252-4813.


Within the next twelve months we will release six new wines:  1989 Cab Franc, 1991 Merlot, 1991 Tinto, 1988 Dorado, 1992 Chenin Blanc, 1992 Chardonnay.  Although we do not ordinarily ship in quantities less than a case, we’ve developed a plan to send out subscribers a two-bottle package of each wine as it is released.  This will permit subscribers to sample each wine before making case purchases.  The full subscription price is $163.00, which represents today’s bottle prices, less a 10% case discount, plus shipping.  (Customers outside of CA, OR, CO and NM add $20).  Your subscription will begin with two bottles of the just released ’89 Cabernet, which we will ship immediately.  This would make an outstanding present and a great way to introduce your friends to Casa Nuestra.


In 1989 we made our first ever Johannisberg Riesling.  The decision was somewhat inauspicious, arising from Beaulieu Vineyards’ failure to take the fruit according to contract.  Serendipitously, the Riesling proved a great success – winning two gold medals.  Since ’89 the fruit has been sold to Stags Leap Wine Cellars, where it has contributed to their famous Riesling vintages. We have no present plans to make Riesling again, though the requests to do so are becoming more numerous and urgent.  Our 1989 is still going strong:  off dry, well balanced, with intense varietal character; but the supply is down to 25 cases, so get it while you can.  $410/case plus $7.83 CA sales tax, if applicable.


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has determined that wine producers may not publish medical findings which reveal that the moderate consumption of wine is good for your health.  Wine producers are prohibited from disseminating medical evidence showing that two glasses of wine per day results in a 25 to 45% reduction in heart attacks.  Do not consult the “New England Journal of Medicine” or the Harvard School of Public Health on these matters, or you might learn that wine is a healthful beverage.


We do not ordinarily ship quantities less than a case of twelve bottles.  We will, however, make up a mixed case for you to your specifications.  To compute the price, use the bottle prices listed, less the 10% case discount, plus applicable freight and sales tax if within California.


In the year of its release, the 1987 Casa Cabernet Franc earned the gold medal and the Chairman’s Best of Class Award at the Los Angeles County Fair.  This vintage is a real show-stopper.  Recently, one of our wholesalers went out of business and I was able to recapture fifty cases of this special vintage.  About thirty cases are left on the reserve list.  We intend to sell 20 cases before limiting purchases to two bottles per customer.  $216/case, plus $15.66 CA sales tax if applicable.


If you’re a one- wine buyer, we would like you to try the entire family of great Casa wines. Here’s a chance to sample everything we are offering at present – and save over 20%.  And speaking of presents, this would make a great gift.  Is there an anniversary or a June wedding in your life?  The case contains two bottles of each of the following:  1989 Cabernet Franc, 1990 Tinto, 1991 Chardonnay, 1991 Chenin Blanc, 1989 Johannisberg Riesling, 1987 Dorado.  Total price:  $499, plus $47.18 CA sales tax, if applicable.