Envy, Ruby Kurant and Carter Wines

Hey! Welcome to the continuing wine maker series of the Wine of the Month Club. We’re so excited here today to have boyfriend and girlfriend.

Mark: Well I’m Mark Carter.

Sheri: And Sheri Dubey.

Paul: Yeah, yeah, Mark Carter and Sheri Dubey. And I wasn’t going to tempt the Sheri Dubey things. Look at her card. Is this the 2nd smallest card I have ever seen? There was one smaller than this but I lost it. But it’s actually very clever because it’s got different, what are these paintings of yours?

Sheri: These are my paintings.

Mark: That’s correct.

Paul: So we’re going to taste some of their wines today and they’re like gorgeous wine. They’re huge wines and it has fun stories. We’re going to have some fun! Want to have some fun?

Mark: Sounds good.

Paul: Let’s take our glasses up and taste the wine.

Mark: I like to drink wine, that’s good.

Paul: Yeah, that’s part of it.

Mark: That’s a good start.

Paul: So this is the first one. I tasted about 8 wines, all of them great. I had to pick 4, which is tough to do to get through the tasting today. This is a 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley under the brand Envy, which Mark’s, it’s your brand.

Mark: That’s correct. In ’06 I bought a winery with [inaudible 1:00]. He was the first guy ever to get a 100 points from Robert Parker for his [inaudible 1:07] 85 reserve. And he had been my winemaker for about 10 years when we decided to buy the winery together. We worked out just fine as partners and this is our third vintage of the Sauvignon Blanc, and it comes from merlot down at the [inaudible 1:23] and we make 2050 cases of it.

Paul: Yeah which is such low production. Where do you market this? Is this up available at the restaurants up in Napa, or where?

Mark: We do have cities, backstreet and also go fish. And Napa Valley has actually had been using that wine. It goes pretty good with lots of different types of food. Also, there’s a little place up in Eureka, California called The Carter House and The Restaurant 301, we’ve been selling a lot of this.

Paul: How do you get your wines in there?

Mark: It was hard.

Paul: He owns a restaurant folks, and that’s the way he’s been. [inaudible 1:55] also was responsible for [inaudible 1:56] wines which we featured here in the club before.

Mark: That is correct. Mills is legendary. Actually he goes back to about 45 vintages in Napa Valley.

Paul: Wow, that’s great. And you approve of this wine? Do you like it?

Sheri: I do actually, yeah. I think most of those 250 cases we drink it all.

Paul: Oh you drink it all, alright. So that’s good. That’s good test when you’re drinking your wines at home. Well I love the nose, it is the bigger glass, the nose is really come out.

Mark: It’s opened up a little bit. It’s not quite as cold as it was when we first opened it. And it’s got a little Sauvignon Musque in it which gives it a nice little floral note which I like. Envy is mostly actually estate fruit except for this Sauvignon Blanc that we have right now. And we have [inaudible 2:38] on the property and 11 acres of grapes.

Paul: So, Sauvignon Musque, is it related to Sauvignon Blanc?

Mark: Yes it is. It’s just a clone of Sauvignon Blanc.

Paul: I see. And do you know what the clone is?

Mark: I do not know, but we actually bought some bud from Mary Edwards who does Sauvignon Blanc which is a Sauvignon Musque. And she does really well with that all the time. So we bought it over some merlot to Sauvignon Blanc.

Paul: It’s got great depth, the middle palette kind of goes and goes. It got sort of a melon, but I get that Napa Valley grasses in the nose but not so abundant.

Mark: Yeah, it’s nice and ripe you know, we try to get it.

Paul: Yeah, very round. I like the wine very much. This is really good.

Mark: Thanks you.

Paul: That’s a fun one. Now under the Envy brand, have how many labels do you have?

Mark: Well we actually make 3 Petite Sirahs, 1 from the vineyard and 2 that we purchase fruit from. And then we have a [inaudible 3:34] which is Cab Merlot and Petite Sirah, and we also make a Merlot. And now we have just done a late harvest and Simeon Sauvignon Blanc too.

Paul: Now this is Sheri’s wine.

Mark: Yes.

Sheri: That is my wine.

Paul: This is the Ruby Kurant.

Sheri: Yes, 2007, and this is a Grenache. A little bit of Sirah on this one, 5%.

Paul: Is this the label for that?

Sheri: No, that’s not the same one.

Paul: That’s not the picture?

Sheri: They’re all different. I actually started the first one with ’06. And I have a different label for that, on that one. The ’06 did very well at the National Women’s Winemaker Competition as well.

Paul: Where was that?

Sheri: That was actually held in Santa Rosa. It was a panel of 16 women judges. And Ruby came in, I got a silver medal in the open division, a golden at women’s and the top 3 wines overall.

Paul: Wow, congratulations. Now my daughters, two college girls, one of them Facebooked me just the other day, and she read somewhere that women’s noses and palettes are more sensitive than ours. And I’m like, ‘Have you seen my nose lately?’ Because there’s got to be a ton of olfactory senses in there. Do you agree with that statement about women’s noses and?

Mark: They do.

Sheri: Well, I do take a lot of notes. And you’ll have to go back to the volumes and see if you can.

Paul: I love the spice in the nose, it’s great. This is Grenache, and the grapes are from where?

Sheri: Secret source.

Paul: Secret Source Vineyards, is that the name of the vineyard?

Sheri: Yeah.

Paul: Okay, because I asked that question earlier, and she said secret source. So I had to put her on the spot and she still won’t tell us where the secret source is, but that’s okay. ‘Cause what speaks is the wine, and it has a wonderful Grenache nose. I mean I get lots of blackberries and berries.

Sheri: Thank you.

Mark: It still got a nice structure to it also, which is great.

Paul: My nose report that first so it would be the lighter than the rest that we did taste. Of course, tasting the coliseum, clearly is lighter than that. [inaudible 5:28] in that thing but this is a wonderful balanced wine. I like it very much. There’s spice component in.

Sheri: Thank you. I had a lot of fun.

Paul: And a lot of flavor and the finish is still hanging around my tongue there. Wow, that’s great.

Mark: And Sheri has to make Rhones wines blends, she can’t make cabs or merlots, otherwise we’d start fighting.

Paul: Or you will be fighting.

Mark: Yes, yes, absolutely.

Sheri: It will be bad.

Paul: You know that’s the kind of thing you don’t want. You don’t need that headache. Why don’t you make Burgundy or something?

Sheri: Plus it works out really well on winemaking dinners.

Mark: She might make Pinot or what.

Sheri: We can do a line of the winemaker dinners.

Paul: That’s right. Nobody gets insulted. My wife, she does not like Sirah. And I try consistently to stamp her. And every time I pour a glass, she is like, ‘I don’t like this, what is this?’ And I’m like, ‘Sirah, you know.’

Mark: ‘Cause I don’t like that Sirah.

Paul: Alright, this is the Red Blend from Carter’s Cellars. Now this is, listen to this, it is the second heaviest bottle I’ve ever seen or felt because the first one was like a 6 liter.

Mark: Yeah, it looks like a magnum half the time.

Paul: Now this is unreal, but it’s a gorgeous wine, and look at that color coming out. This is your [inaudible 6:34] so it’s got cabernet…

Mark: Merlot and a little Malbec and Petit Verdot. And we’ve been buying fruit from Henry [inaudible 6:43] up south of Cannon Road since ’98. That was the first vintage we ever made of Carter. And we were graced with a 90 points in’ 98 which was a tough year to get good points from their inspector.

Paul: That’s excellent, you know. She’s a wonder, just gorgeous. This happened that there was just tighter when we poured it earlier it’s really opening up and it’s showing so much, wonderful depth in the nose.

Sheri: It’s a beautiful vineyard and actually named the Coliseum because it’s shaped like the coliseum. Spectacular, awesome view.

Mark: It’s spectacular. And it is mountain fruit so it’s up about eleven hundred feet up and you really can see San Francisco from

Sheri: It’s stunning.

Paul: Wow, now they’re talking about knocking down a coliseum in LA, so is that going to affect you guys?

Mark: No, I think we’ll be okay. Then we’ll be the only coliseum.

Paul: No problem? Okay, fine. Look at the color. You can’t even see through when you thin it out. It’s just like amazing.

Mark: It’s always so dark.

Paul: What’s the [inaudible 7:40]? Is it just a low [inaudible 7:39] vineyard?

Mark: Yes it is. Actually in ’98, the reason that our fruit really got ripe up there and it was only I think about a half a ton an acre. That’s what we got off the vineyard.

Paul: Half a ton an acre?

Mark: Yeah, and Henry was not too happy, he had no fruit to sell that year but it sure made really wonderful.

Paul: Really gorgeous that wine. And you got a little hang time on that flavors in there, seems like it’s been picked the right bricks and all extraction. [inaudible 8:08] sediment all the time?

Mark: Oh yeah, definitely. All our wines are non-filtered or refined.

Paul: Oh so you’ll definitely get a sediment then. We did a segment on sediments here because the average consumer thinks that sediments are bad thing. They don’t understand that it comes from really extracted wines. Wines that have been aged in the bottle in a little bit. And we did a Petite Sirah from Opolo. And it was a great wine and there’re sediments in. So we did a little video on that. Okay, so this is the Cab ’07. It is from the coliseum as well, not from the Staple Center, the sports arena?

Mark: Just the South of Cannon Road, [inaudible 8:44] planted this in 1978.

Sheri: Lot of dynamite involved in the [inaudible 8:54]

Paul: They busted this thing out to get there. Cabernet likes rocky soil, it’s like to drain.

Mark: This sure this wine actually from Parker got 95 plus so this is one of our favorite wines from the vintage.

Paul: Wow, really? I didn’t give a 95, I might, give a…

Mark: Hundred, a hundred actually.

Paul: I gave a hundred right. That’s right.

Sheri: Congratulations!

Mark: My first time.

Paul: But the life of this wine is going to be incredible because it really is four year fountain pen, because it’s thick.

Mark: It will really last.

Paul: Look at the viscosity there.

Sheri: You can actually paint with it.

Mark: You want to show him a few paintings.

Sheri: Yes.

Paul: I’m glad I actually wore a dark shirt because I’m bound to spill it and you won’t notice.

Mark: Yeah, I wore a white one today.

Paul: This is gorgeous.

Mark: Thank you.

Paul: Thank you so much for coming today. It was a pleasure talking with you, both of you, and having your wines.

Mark: It’s our pleasure.

Paul: And stick with that whole policy of not creating the same grape for adults, because I think that will be successful for you. Cheers!

Mark: Thank you very much for having us here, really a pleasure.

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