Vida Valiente

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting 15 wineries and tasted about 54 wines in Napa and Sonoma.

Several were special but one stands out for several reasons. My wife and I, and another couple had the pleasure of being invited (actually, our friend who is a travel guide was invited and we tagged along) to experience wines from Vida Valiente. (please visit their website at your leisure).

Why was this tasting so special? First, instead of needing to make a reservation we were invited to this tasting, a private tasting. The thought that went into the hospitality and presentation immediately suggested that this would be something special.

Then the thought that went into the tasting itself. The 4 wines we tasted were opened in the cellar the day before our tasting with the cork placed back into the bottle. And, the wines were poured an hour before we arrived for our tasting.

The first wine we tried was Movement. It’s a cuvée of the cabernet sauvignon of the first press from all three of their vineyards. The nose had wonderful fruit and wine had delicious flavors of cherry and blackberry with a satisfying mouthfeel.

Next, we sampled the High Ranch. It is at an elevation of 1100 to 1200 ft. next to the Konisgard Chardonnay vineyard (which I tasted a couple of years ago in Big Sur at Nepenthe. It was beautiful, though I’m not sure it was worth the $35 by the glass. Although the setting certainly made up the difference.) This wine was much more tannic than The Movement which I understand was partially due to the elevation. I thought it needed to be open longer. Even so it was a treat.

Beckstoffer To Kalon was our next experience. If you’ve ever had any wines from this vineyard, you know you are in for a special treat. It had beautiful, yet restrained, spice and balanced tannins. The most elegant of the three so far.

Finally, The Estate is a unique vineyard on Glass Mountain. It has excellent drainage resulting in a powerful cabernet that has elegance and is introduced by the wonderful nose as its first expression of what is to be enjoyed as one tastes the wine.

Lastly, I should say that Vida Valiente donates $100 for every bottle purchased of The Movement to the Vida Valiente Foundation for the support of the education of first generation students from low-income backgrounds.

If you enjoy high end cabernet sauvignons and are interested in giving back to the wine community in Napa/Sonoma region these wines merit your attention. You will experience artisanal wines with unique characteristics and at the same time be contributing to the local wine community to help encourage young people to learn and become part of the community and spirit that is special to this wine region.