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Celani Vineyards Tenacious 2014

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP93
0% ABV
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WW92
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Winemaker Notes

The 2014 Celani Family Vineyards Tenacious was barrel-­aged for 22 months in 70% new French oak barrels. The result is a wine with enormous impact. Earthy black raspberries, black currants, crushed violets, tobacco leaf, dusty plums give way to nuances of tea, dried orange peel, black cherry, and mocha. The entry is simultaneously seamless and powerful, with massive flavors of ripe black cherries. Hallmarks such as immense fruit concentration, amazing balance, present but supple tannins could very well be indications that this is the finest Tenacious produced to date.
Blend: 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Their blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc (all from the estate) is the 2014 Proprietary Red Tenacious. Fabulous aromatics, which are no doubt attributed to the Cabernet Franc, are present in this deep, ruby/purple wine with floral notes intermixed with forest floor, graphite, blueberry and blackcurrant. It is medium to full-bodied with silky tannins and a supple, velvety textured finish. Drink it over the next 10-15+ years.
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Celani Vineyards

Celani Vineyards

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Celani Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
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The Celanis' bought this property in 2005 after a long love affair with the Napa Valley. Knowing that they wanted to make wine of a certain style (modeled after some of the great wines of Bordeaux, yet with Napa fruit), they enlisted the help of Mark Herold to help them with the endeavor.

Mark Herold, the winemaker, is an artist who has a strong science background. He hold a PhD from UC Davis. Mark is much like a painter in the way he composes his wines. He can come across as easy going and free spirited, but he is adamant about a few things in winemaking: he uses cool climate fruit for producing our Cabs and with our reds; there is no fining or filtration.

We source our Cabernet fruit from six different vineyards along the Vaca Range: Stagecoach Vineyard on Atlas Peak and we use some smaller, virtually unknown vineyards in Napa's newly recognized Coombsville Appellation. Both Coombsville and Atlas Peak are prized for their cooler climates. In years when the valley floor is hot, and growers are concerned with heat spikes, high sugars and evening rais-ining. The cooler hills have a more temperate growing season allowing for longer hang time. This extending hang time allows for flavor development and preservation of acidity of the grapes.

Lastly, they use all 100% French oak barrels, 95% of which are strong or heavy toast. Also, a generous percentage of our barrels are produced by Darnajou. Darnajou is the sole barrel provider for Chateau Petrus, one of their favorite French wines. They like to say that Darnajou is very "French" in its way of thinking: they will only sell barrels to you if they like your wine. They are very proud of the fact that their wines passed the test and are in the company of the outstanding wines of Chateau Petrus.

Vicki and Tom, along with their children-Vincenzo, Olivia and Benedetto currently split their time between Michigan and Napa Valley.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. 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.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest 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 District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

OPI57630_2014 Item# 305757