Gamble Family Vineyards Paramount Proprietary Red 2012
With 100 years of agriculture in Napa, it comes as no surprise that the heart and soul of Gamble Family Vineyards is deeply rooted in the soil. Founded by third-generation farmer Tom Gamble in 2005, Gamble Family Vineyards owns prime estate vineyards in many of Napa’s most respected AVAs—Oakville, Mt. Veeder, Rutherford and Yountville. Its winery and by invitation-only tasting room have a quiet presence, sitting modestly in an isolated nook off Highway 29 in the heart of Napa Valley’s Oakville AVA. Set back from the main road, Gamble’s mission here is to carry on the heritage of farming that his ancestors sowed when they came to Napa as cattle ranchers in 1916. They left with him a legacy of deep and abiding affinity for the land from which came not only their livelihood, but also a life full of purpose.
Having shadowed his father on the family ranches as a child, Tom has had a hand in the land since an early age. In 1981, at the age of 20, he purchased his first vineyard with several partners, making him the first Gamble to begin growing grapes commercially. “Given this legacy, one does not continue farming for dispassionate reasons alone—there are easier ways to make a living. And thus, taking the next step and putting my name on a bottle of wine does not come lightly,” says Gamble.
Winemaker Jim Close follows Gamble Family Vineyards’ mission of producing wines that seamlessly bring together elegance, balance, nuance, with good structure and moderate alcohol, while embracing and highlighting the characteristics Napa Valley terroir imparts on the wines. Jim Close began his winemaking career in the southern Languedoc region of France, and has made every bottle of Gamble Family Vineyards wine since 2005.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.