Segway: I first discovered this wine at the Brookside Golf & Country Club Open House Wine and Spirits Tasting, with my dad. It was all the rave and I remember thinking it was pretty good but not paying too much attention to it, since I was more focused on the socializing than I was the wine. I forget the details but the generalities behind the story of this wine are that William Kavney apparently bought the best wines that were left over from the production of some top Napa producers. He then blends them together to make his small production creation with a Bulldog logo on the clearly hand-crafted label.
The story behind the Hausfrau Haven wine store is pretty cool too. Hausfrau Haven is where I purchased the William Kavney Cellars bottle. I was asking around at the open house, trying to pinpoint who in Ohio distributed and/or retailed Guigal wines. I was a winemaking apprentice, A.K.A. Cellar Rat, at Guigal during the 2009 vintage and so naturally I’m deadset on getting my hands on one of the 2009 LaLas. I’m pretty damn proud to be able to say that I helped make those wines and was part of the EPIC 2009 vintage. By the way I was also part of spilling a few thousand dollars worth of wine on the cellar floor, after failing to properly fasten one of the pumps. I considered it an offering to the French wine gods. LaLa, by the way, is the nickname for Guigal’s top single-vineyard Cote-Roties (La Turque, La Mouline and La Landonne) that demand between 3 and 5 bills a bottle! But more importantly, these are some AMAZING wines!
So how the hell does Guigal have anything to do with this William Kavney Cellars tasting, other than me selfishly plugging my 2009 vintage? Well nothing yet, except that after asking around at the Open House, I was told that the top wine buyer in Columbus was Faye, owner of Hausfrau Haven wine store and “the best palate in Ohio”. And additionally, I was told that she would be the best bet for finding a bottle of a Guigal LaLa. So I dropped in for a visit to Hausfrau and sure enough they carried Guigal, including the LaLas! Now my name’s on the list for the 2009 vintage, which is still in the barrel btw, and won’t be in the shop for another 6 to 12 months. Some of the LaLas are aged for up to 4 years in barrel. Now that’s what I call barrel ageing!
Sorry I understand that I STILL haven’t got to the point of today’s tasting. So much buildup I know! Well the closing chapter of this saga is that after speaking to one of the wine reps and asking for his favorite bottle under $20, he immediately grabbed the William Kavney Cellar 2007 Cab, the exact same wine that was all the rave at the Brookside Open House. The End!
William Kavney Cellars “Cabernet Sauvignon” Napa Valley 2007
Tasting Notes: 100% cabernet sauvignon, 13.8% vol. Dark ruby red in the glass. A decent amount of alcohol on the nose, accompanied by pleasant and subtle notes of black fruits, cinnamon and vanilla spice. Silky-smooth texture up front, followed by strong fruit, black cherry jam, good balance of acidity and finishing with dry tannins and notes of dark chocolate and oak. Certainly nothing magical and not all the rave, BUT definitely an overall enjoyable wine.
Rating: 15/20 (89/100)
Price: US$20 @ Hausfrau Haven in German Village, Columbus, Ohio