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A Great Deal on Some Great Wines from Casey Flat Ranch

You probably haven’t heard of Casey Flat Ranch.  It’s in the Vaca Mountains, adjoining the Capay Valley, just east of Napa Valley in California.  Nestled inside this 6000 acre ranch are about 24 acres of Bordeaux and Rhone varietal grapevines, and these vines provide the source for Casey Flat’s Estate wines.  They also source fruit from the premier areas of California viniculture and produce a less expensive series of red and white wine.  Don’t be fooled by the lower price however, these lower priced offerings are of excellent quality and provide great value.  The Estate wines are great, and you can read how we like the Estate Red from 2009 and 2010 in our article on the Top Ten Red Wines from the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival. 

A Selection of Casey Flat Ranch Wines

A Selection of Casey Flat Ranch Wines

We liked the Estate Red so much we bought a case of the Open Range wines right from the winery to try those.  These are the lower priced series, and believe me there is no shortage of quality here.  We have the 2009 and 2010 Open Range Red as well as the 2011 and 2012 Open Range Sauvignon Blancs.  At this point we have opened a bottle of each to see what we have on our hands, and we could not be more delighted.  These are outstanding.  The reds are distinctly different but both very good, with the 2009 more complex and the 2010 more fruit forward.  The whites are both very bright and crisp with nice acidity, displaying complex flavors of peach, pear, melon, grapefruit and pineapple.  There are differences but they are more subtle than the vintage differences in the Open Range reds.  Both whites are not simple, light bodied summer sippers.  These are serious wines and will pair well with a great deal of food.

Their website is here.

Their contact info is: Post Office Box 1274 | Tiburon, CA  94920 | info@caseyflatranch.com | phone 415-435-2225 | fax 415-435-6314

We are huge fans of this producer, and will be visiting the winery the next time we get to the Napa area.  The wines are simply delicious.  Here are some tasting notes from our recent samplings.  The Estate Red notes are from our earlier Top Ten Reds blog.  We still have the 2012 Estate CFR Sauvignon Blanc and the 2012 Viognier to open.

If you’re in Rhode Island, are interested and can have them shipped right from the winery use the code Newport 2013 and good things will happen.

2010 Estate Red

This we encountered Friday night at Wine and Rosecliff.  Brenda,  the VP of Sales and Marketing for the vineyard, was pouring their 2010 red from small cabernet style decanters as well as their Estate White.  The red is fabulous.  The vineyards are within a 1600 acre ranch and were planted initially in 2004.  Additional acreage was planted in 2008 and they now cultivate 24 acres of vines.  This red is expressive but still quite elegant.  It’s a blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Syrah, 19% Cabernet Franc and 4% Mourvedre.  It’s flat out delicious and a very good value in our book.  We’re looking to pick up a mixed case of this and the 2009 vintage. (which we did!)

2009 Estate Red

Here we are again, only a year older.  This red is also fantastic, but it is quite different.  The 2009 does not have the elegance of the 2010, but brings a brawnier, fruit forward approach to the palate.  It’s a bit more rustic, with a deeper flavor profile than it’s younger brother.  This wine absolutely screams for a grilled steak.  When we get our case we’ll definitely try that.  I can’t wait to visit the ranch.  A blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 50% Syrah, it’s another good value.

2009 Open Range Red

This is deep purple to the rim with a rich nose of dark fruit, herbs and subtle wood.  It’s very complex, and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, with lesser amounts of Petite Syrah, Merlot, Mourvedre and Cabernet Franc.  It’s full bodied and mouth coating.  The palate presents those dark fruits and complex herbaceous notes with some earthiness.  a long finish completes the experience.  This is very good stuff.  When we tasted it the second day it reminded me immediately of a Cote Rotie.  Not bad for the money here.

2010 Open Range Red

Different than the 2009, this is more fruit forward on the nose, and the macerated fruit aromas fly out of the glass.  It’s also deep purple red.  There’s a hint of pork fat on the nose out of the bottle.  While just a touch less full bodied than the 2009 this is still a pretty substantial wine with great fruit on the palate, presenting some nice tannins at the back holding everything up.  Very good length here as well.  Different but still very good.  If you want complexity go for the 09.  If you want more fruit then open the 10.  Better yet wait a few years for the 2010, because it’s going t last a while even though it is delicious now.  This has the same grape varieties as the 2009, but all in different proportions, with less Cabernet Sauvignon and more Petite Syrah.

2011 Open Range Sauvignon Blanc

Very light golden yellow out of the bottle the wine has a huge nose of pear and melon with some creamy undertones.  On the palate there is crisp fruit flavor, again pear and melon, with a nice ridge of firm acidity running straight through the wine.  Again there is a touch of creaminess on the mid-palate that is really nice.  It finishes clean and long.  This is not a light bodied fruit floozie here, but a pretty serious white wine.  It reminds me a bit of a Falanghina we recently opened.  If you like Sauvignon Blanc you will like this.  If you like a good white wine that can stand up to food well this is a great choice as well.  We had it with tacos and it worked well.  Or it’s just great to sip.

2012 Open Range Sauvignon Blanc

Not terribly different than the 2011, which is not a bad thing.  Again the pale golden yellow color, but this has more grapefruit and pineapple on the nose.  You can see plentiful glycerol running down the glass after a swirl, and like its younger brother the wine had good body and mouth feel.  Nice, crisp acidity runs cleanly throughout.  Another clean, persistent finish brings up the back.  This is excellent and will also stand up to a lot of food.  In act after five days open in the fridge it went very well with salmon fried in a butter/oil/mustard sauce.  The peach flavors were really pronounced.  Another winner.

We’re going to be getting more.  The Open Range wines would make a great house wine, especially at the reduced price.  Everything to us represents value, and we rarely like the wines of one producer as much across the board.  If you end up talking to Brenda say hi for us!

We should say we are in no way compensated by Casey Flat Ranch for this.  We just love the wines.

A votre sante!

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