Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Ovid keeps raising the bar with this drop-dead gorgeous set of new releases. Owners Dana Johnson and Mark Nelson have spared no expense in their pursuit to make world-class wines. These new releases are a testament to their unwavering commitment to quality. This year I also tasted two of the ‘Experiment’ series wines, which bear creative names inspired by Dana Johnson’s background in Library Sciences. The talented Austin Peterson makes the wines, Andy Erickson consults and David Abreu manages the vineyards, but what really counts is what is in the bottle. The results so far from this young property have been nothing less than stellar.
OVID is an organically farmed, 15-acre vineyard perched on a secluded mountaintop at 1,400 ft. elevation in the western reaches of the Pritchard Hill geography of Napa Valley. Here, they farm rocky red, volcanic soils to capture a true sense of place and craft long lived wines composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. They ferment only with native yeasts and bottle their wines without fining or filtering.
The Winemaker since 2006, Austin Peterson, combines his site-specific experience with a sense of experimentation, embracing a tension between classical and cutting-edge winemaking methods.
The name was inspired by the Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso [Ovid], whose METAMORPHOSES, a poetic retelling of the Greek myths, celebrates themes of transformation and change.
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.