Thursday, March 17, 2011

GIVE A HOOT OR THREE FOR NAPA VALLEY


Charles "Jiggs" Davis, Managing Member and Co-Proprietor of Davis and Dyke Winery in Alameda, California, oversees the Napa Valley label called Three Hoots.  I’ll write a bit about their Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, and they also make Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir.


Three Hoots is a proponent of sustainable and organic farming, including the use of "owl boxes," which are used for natural pest control.  Their wines feature owls on the labels, and their wine club is even called the Owls Club.  You must be a member of the Owls Club to purchase the wines.

Three Hoots Cabernet SauvignonCabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2007 Napa Valley

The label’s initial offering was the 2007 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon.  This big Napa red is aged in 100% French oak barrels for 25 months.  305 cases were produced.  The wine carries a hefty 15% abv number, and the winemaker notes claim it will age well for 20 years or longer.

Winemaker Gustavo A. Gonzalez reports the ‘07 crops had half the average rainfall, so yields were down 25% and the fruit is very concentrated as a result.  The Cab is sourced from several hillside vineyards overlooking Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena and are farmed using sustainable agriculture practices.  The label features the image of the Great Horned Owl, one of the most widespread owls in North America.  All this attention to nature isn’t just a bunch of talk, either.  Three Hoots puts a portion of their net revenues from the sale of the wine toward the Audubon Society.

The Three Hoots Cabernet Sauvignon is inky black, no light gets through at all.  The complex nose has cassis, smoke, graphite and black olives.  The wine is much darker after being open a couple of days, and even more complex.  The scent of tar becomes apparent then.

A lot is expected of a Napa Cab, and this one delivers.  The taste is rich and dark - very intense - with huge tannins and huge alcohol.  It’s definitely brawny.  The finish is extremely dry, and this wine practically screams to be paired with a big, fatty steak.

Three Hoots Sauvignon BlancSauvignon Blanc 2009 Napa Valley

This 100% Sauvignon Blanc also features Napa Valley fruit that was farmed organically.  The label bears the likeness of a Barred Owl, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Audubon Society.  There were 504 cases produced, and the winemaker says it will age well for five years or longer.  It's a hefty white, at 14.3% abv.

The Three Hoots Sauvignon Blanc shows a very slight and fresh grassy nature, rather reminiscent of the Loire Valley.  The nose is really all about the fruit, though.  Delicious nectarine aromas mingle with a hint of wet stones.  The taste is crisp and lively, with pear and an awesome minerality in the forefront.  It's an extremely refreshing wine which begs for some oysters to be paired with it.