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Etude Winery

By: Kellie K. Speed, Travel Writer

Some of the best wines in the world come from our very own Napa Valley area but Etude Winery stands prominently apart from the competition in flavor and originality.

The Cabernet harvest of 2002 offers real substance, structure and persistence with a full body taste and low acid.  As a result, the grapes are ultra ripe and offer the most satisfying taste.

The blend for the 2002 bottling consists of Cabernet Sauvignon (95%) and Cabernet Franc (5%). The wine’s rich flavor comes after spending a minimum of 24 months in French oak barrels (80% new).  The components are aged separately for approximately 12 months and the assemblage is then crafted and returned to the barrels for an additional year of aging before the bottling process can begin.

As a result, the 2002 cabernet sauvignon offers a unique aroma of classic black cherry and currants with hints of espresso, vanilla and raspberry. This classic wine shows off its definition and richness as well as structure and intensity.

The 2004 pinot noir, on the other hand, offers aromas of cola, cranberry and graham crackers supported by the subtle notes of nutmeg. The inaugural release of this vintage hails from the vineyard tucked in the far northwest corner of the Carneros appellation. Unlike customary Carneros acreage, which is largely uplifted bay bottoms with soils comprised of clay, the soils of the Etude Estate are variations of volcanic origin. 

These well-drained soils and its extreme western location make it an ideal setting for this distinctly unique wine. The vineyard blocks were customized to conform to the various soil types and changing contours of the topography.

These wines were aged 12-14 months in French oak barrels and are subject to a rigorous selection process. The complex wine offers flavors of cherries, brown spices with hints of roasted meats that surround silky tannins that persist throughout a long finish.

Suggested retail for the 2002 cabernet is $90 per bottle while the pinot noir’s suggested retail is $42 per bottle.

For more information on Etude Wines, please call (707) 257-5300 or visit the winery online at

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Kellie Speed - Click to enlarge

Kellie K. Speed is a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahnersí Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air Approach.

Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and travel destinations, including Hawaii, California, Arizona, Bermuda and Mexico, to name a few. She has also traveled internationally to Ireland, England, France, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Next year, she is planning a trip to Tahiti.

Since she is from Massachusetts, she will be providing reviews of local restaurants for Travel-Watch.

If you would like to email Kellie any suggestions or comments, please do so at


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