Lewis Cellars Alec's Blend Red 2009
Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
With Alec already starting high school it's feeling like life in the fast lane. Top Gear is actually his favorite TV show and this new blend of 80% Syrah, 17% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon packs plenty of power and youthful pleasure. Sappy black cherry and blueberry fruits are injected with clove and vanilla oak spice plus traces of truffle and sandalwood. Lively off the line, the palate performs with all the complex componentry and smooth power of a 4-valve, liquid-cooled 4-stroke engine.
Wine Spectator - "An amazing wine made in a rich, generous style, with loads of ripe berry flavors, including wild berry, blueberry, raspberry and plum. Full-bodied, it's fleshy and easy-drinking already, yet has the depth and concentration for cellaring. Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2022. "
Lewis Cellars Winery
Former Indy Car driver Randy Lewis and his wife Debbie started Lewis Cellars in 1992. They are truly "Driven... to create world-class wines." Along with their son, Dennis, they are literally hands-on in every aspect of vineyard management, winemaking, sales and distribution. They thrive on the challenges and the relationships cultivated in the process. It is their continuing goal to greate small lots of exciting and unique Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. View all Lewis Cellars Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.