92 Points - Editor's Choice
Wine Enthusiast Magazine - November 2014
"In this big proprietary blend, winemaker Kirk Venge pits 70% Zinfandel and 14% Petite Sirah against 11% Charbono, a rare find in the Napa Valley, and 5% Syrah. The results are complex in deep cherry and milk chocolate, with plenty of grip and drinkable tannins, the finish soft and rich. This wine delivers a great value for the quality.
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 2012 Scout’s Honor will likely be remembered as one of our best efforts to date and another spectacular vintage in honor of our beloved winery dog, Scout. We have changed up the vineyards significantly with the 2012 vintage, with more “old-vine” plantings providing the foundation for this blend, and it certainly shows in the finished wine.
This wine is based on a tradition of producing a full bodied, delicious and immediately enjoyable red wine. We start with a base of old-vine Zinfandel and build that up with old-vine Charbono, dry-farmed Petite Sirah, and finish with mountain vineyard Syrah. The end result is a serious, yet unpretentious red wine that will satisfy time and time again.
The 2012 vintage was epic across all varietals for us—perfection not experienced since the 1997 vintage. Diligence and patience in the vineyards paid off with spectacular results. This vintage is a gorgeous assemblage of crushed blue herbs, violets, black cherry, licorice and anise scents that fill the room. The palate is pure richness from the Zinfandel with loads of black cherry, pepper spice, and enveloping masculinity of char and tannins from the Syrah, Charbono and Petite Sirah, with no harshness through the transition of the flavors. Seamless balance and mouth coating deliciousness are found throughout the palate, with an extra long finish and a slight “kick” of barrel tannin at the end. Delicious!
2012 Scout’s Honor is certainly a generous mouthful of red wine that we recommend be opened and enjoyed immediately upon release. Cellared correctly it will age for 5 to 10 years.
Harvest took place between October 1st and 30th, with an average Brix of 27.2 degrees. Grapes were farmed and harvested from four single vineyards in Napa Valley. The Zinfandel was picked from two, old-vine (60 to 100+ years old), dry-farmed vineyard sources: Venge’s newly acquired “Signal Fire Vineyard” estate, and the Frediani Vineyard—both located in the heart of Calistoga. The Charbono is from old, dry farmed vines (60 to 100+ years old) also planted in the Frediani Vineyard. 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 Atlas Peak AVA.
The small, individual lots of fruit were destemmed into a combination of stainless steel tanks and open top fermenters, where whole-berry fermentation took place for an average 18 days. The wine was barrel aged for 14 months in 50% new American Oak from Missouri and the balance in once used tight grain French Oak. No conventional pumps were used in the making of this wine. Only diaphragm air pumps, forced air pressure movement, or bulldogging, and transfers by gravity were employed to preserve the pure fruit integrity in the wine.
14% Petite Sirah