Saturday, August 7, 2010

Laird Family Estate - premium wines from Napa

Ken Laird began his wine estate in 1970 with the purchase of an old 70 acre prune orchard in Calistoga. At the time Napa Valley was on the about to re-emerge ad a premium wine area. Ken began to search for winemakers in the valley who were willing to help him turn his 70 acres into vines. After many calls, Robert Mondavi stepped forward to finance the deal to plant the vineyard. With the help of family and friends to perform the hard work, the Laird Family Estates succeeded. By 1983 Ken acquired vineyards in Carneros area of Napa and Sonoma where he grew grapes that became the premium wines of many winemakers in the area. By 1998 Ken and his family broke ground for the Laird Family Estate winery.

With the help of consulting winemaker, Paul Hobbs, Ken began towards the goal of producing great premium estate wines. Each of Ken’s vineyards show their unique terroir in the wines produced from those grapes. Paul’s attention to detail in crafting the wines brought out the uniqueness of each of these vineyards managed by Ken’s son Justin.

2008 Napa Valley Pinot Grigio comes from the Andretti Ranch in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. This wine delivers bright acidity with aromas of citrus and flavors of citrus, peach and melon. It is a lighter style of Pinot Grigio which would be great to take along on a picnic, or enjoy after a long work day.
The 2007 Cold Creek Ranch Chardonnay is from the Carneros region of Sonoma County where the cool breezes from the San Pablo Bay provides the perfect area for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Winemaker Paul Hobbs has chosen specific blocks for this special wine. Starting with the rich golden color you will enjoy the aromas of lemon and vanilla. On the palate the citrus flavors blend with the tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and kiwi. The oak provides a smooth finish on this well balanced wine.

Laird Family Estates 2006 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon uses grapes from three Laird vineyards in Napa Valley, the Red Hen Ranch at the Liard Winery, State Lane Ranch vineyard in Yountville and Mast Ranch on the bench-land of the Mayacamas Mountains. This is a rich wine with blackberry, plum and currant flavors balanced nicely with clove and cinnamon and a delicious component of cocoa. The tannins and acidity lead to a long finish.

The 2007 “Jillian’s Blend” red wine from Napa includes 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah and 10% Merlot from various vineyards in premium areas of Napa Valley. It is named after Jillian, who is Rebecca Laird’s daughter. The deep purple color invites you to examine the red and black fruit aromas and flavors, including cherry, plum, currant and blackberry. You might also detect an interesting orange zest component and vanilla.

For more information:  Laird Family Estates

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