Bottle Rocket: Clay and Brenda Cockerell Release thier Newest Coquerel Family Wines
Is it already debutante season?
If you’re a Sauvignon Blanc from Coquerel Family Wines, the Napa estate of Dallas residents and winery owners Brenda and Clay Cockerell, then Sunday was your afternoon to shine. Chef Gilbert Garza catered the private affair.
The Cockerell’s hosted a tasting of their 2010 spring releases. The 2007 Coquerel Sauv Blanc and the 2009 Le Petit Coquerel were lovely expressions of Napa SB, crisp and bright, with long finishes of grapefruit and mango.
The nicest surprise of the tasting, though, was a ripe, late-harvest Sauv Blanc, “La Douce Revanche.” 2008 was a tough year for Napa SBs. The growing season suffered from the decade’s least amount of rainfall, and an untimely frost just after bud break in April destroyed most of the Cockerell’s potential crop in their Calistoga vineyard. After repruning and a second budding, the vineyard produced an exceptionally small amount of fruit. The winemaker allowed the grapes to ripen fully, then bottled the juice as a late harvest on October 25, calling the dolce Sauv Blanc “La Douce Revanche,” or the Sweet Revenge. The late harvest, fermentation sur lie, and use of French Oak means this is not a grapefruity, green grass, catty Sauv Blanc. Instead, the wine tasted of peaches, apricots, honey and vanilla–perfect poolside late in the afternoon.
I heard there were samples of Coquerel’s 2008 Petite Syrah, swiped from barrels which are nearly ready for bottling, but it was all gone before I made my way to the cellar. Too bad, too; I heard it was really good.
Coquerel wines are available locally and can also be found in many Dallas restaurants, including Pappas Bros. Steakhouse (no surprise, right?).
[googleMap name=”Coquerel Family Wines” width=”460″ height=”300″ mousewheel=”false” directions_to=”false”]Napa, California[/googleMap]