2011 Scout's Honor Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
Wine Advocate, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
“A wine that I love, and a super bargain, is their Scout’s Honor. A blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Sirah, with a small amount of Charbono thrown in, this is one heck of a seductive wine that continues to be the kind of wine you wish more California wineries would make. Deep bluish/plum/purple, with an explosively aromatic nose of sweet roasted herbs and black and red cherries intermixed with blackberry, licorice, pepper, and floral notes, this wine has loads of fruit, an opulent, voluptuous mouth-feel, superb purity and texture, and a full-bodied finish.”
The 2011 Scout’s Honor is looking like another successful wine story in the making and yet another spectacular vintage in honor of our beloved winery dog, Scout. At 66% Old-Vine Zinfandel, it is no wonder where the plush fruit comes from. This wine is based on a tradition of building a full bodied, delicious red wine that can easily be enjoyed anytime. We build up a base of Old-Vine Zinfandel with help from Petite Sirah, Old-Vine Charbono, and Syrah. The end result is a playful and unpretentious red that will satisfy time and time again. The 2011 vintage features a touch more acidity than the 2010, and it shows with racy, beautiful longevity in the mouth. This vintage is an eclectic assemblage with light violets, crushed herbs, red cherry, licorice and baker’s spice box scents that fill the room. The palate is driven with richness from the Zinfandel with loads of ripe red berry and dark cherry and enveloping masculinity of mineral, char and tannin flavors from the Syrah, Charbonno and Petite Sirah. There is never a bite through the transition of the flavors. The balance is seamless and certainly mouth coating. There is a bit of a tannin kick at the end reminding one of the 16% Petite Sirah and 14% Charbono. At 4%, the Syrah adds a touch of campfire in the nose and a hint of saline on the palate. Scout’s Honor is certainly a generous mouthful. Cellared correctly this wine should age for 5 to 10 years.
Harvest took place between October 1st and 22nd, with an average Brix of 27.5 degrees. Grapes were farmed and harvested from four single vineyards in Napa Valley. The majority of Zinfandel and 100% of the Charbono is from old, dry farmed vines (60 to 100 years old) planted in the Frediani Vineyard, located on the property just north of us in Calistoga. Out in the warm climes of Pope Valley (Eastern Vacas Mountains) is the Moss Creek vineyard where the remainder of the Zinfandel was harvested from 20 to 30 year old vines. Long family friends, Joan and Will Nord, have a small vineyard named “Trio C” in Yountville and a little over 10 acres are dedicated to Petite Sirah—we love this site. And, legendary grower Jan Krupp farms some of Napa’s finest Syrah on his Stagecoach Vineyard, high in the mountains of the Eastern Oakville District.
The small, individual lots of fruit are de-stemmed and whole-berry fermentation takes place on average for 12 days in tank, then barrel aged for 14 months in 30% new American Oak from Missouri and the balance in once used tight grain French Oak. No conventional pumps are used in the making of this wine. Only diaphragm air pumps, forced air pressure movement, or bulldogging, and transfers by gravity are employed to preserve the pure fruit integrity in the wine.