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Monday, September 29, 2014

Cliff Lede's Vineyards Rock

Cliff Lede Winery is just over the hill from Sonoma Valley in the Yountville area of southern Napa Valley. They sit right in "Cabernet central" surrounded by wineries like Shafer and Pine Ridge. Cliff Lede gets good reviews, but I admit I've never had one of their wines. Perhaps because in typical Napa fashion tasting costs $25 and up or because their Cabs cost $70 and up. Maybe it's just because there are so many great Cabernet houses in Napa Valley that it's difficult to try them all (a tough problem to have, I know).
But I like their style with the vineyards. They have 55 acres of estate vineyards planted to the Big Five Bordeaux varietals -- Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

When you have a large vineyard you divide it into blocks for better vineyard management. In Cliff Lede's case different blocks will mean different varieties plus different soil types, different elevations, and different sun exposures. Usually these vineyard blocks are given exciting names like Block 1, Block 2, etc. But Cliff Lede is apparently run by some old rockers. They divide their estate vineyards into Rock Blocks with names running from "All Along the Watchtower" to "Ziggy Stardust." You can even download the tunes from their website.

Their vineyard map from
(click on the image to enlarge)

A little Stairway to Heaven Cabernet, anyone?