Accessible, down to earth and unpretentious, it is these three adjectives that are the perfect description of the Wagner Family of Napa Valley. The Wagner family legacy of winemaking has been carried on for three generations. Farming grapes and producing wine began in 1915 in the Napa Valley. Charlie F. Wagner and Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, along with their son, Chuck, established Caymus Vineyards in 1972. Caymus is one of the most respected wines of Napa Valley. Despite all his success, Chuck had a rule for his family and children…everybody works.
Since 2001 Chuck’s eldest son, Charlie F. Wagner II, a respected wine maker in his own right, has run Mer Soleil Chardonnay. Another of his sons, Joe Wagner, also a respected Napa Valley winemaker, is running Belle Glos Pinot Noir. Here are three of my favorites from this royal family of wine:
2014 Mer Soleil Chardonnay Reserve
The 2014 opens with tropical scents of pineapple and citrus blossom, balanced by smooth vanilla. White peach comes out on the palate, which has a vibrant acidity. Medium bodied, this wine has a finish that is a mix of oak, butter and fruit blending seamlessly with a touch of smokiness. This is a great Chardonnay!!
2015 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir
The 2015 opens with lush aromas of blackberry bramble, nutmeg, and hint of caramel. In the mouth sumptuous strawberry jam, ripe black cherry, cranberry and warm gingerbread perfectly balanced with acidity, velvety tannins and a hint of toffee carrying through its long finish. This is a Pinot Noir with a lot going on.
2014 Conundrum Red Wine Blend
Sourced from premier California winegrowing regions, Conundrum Red features dark red varietals including Zinfandel and Petite Syrah. It is rich, complex and approachable. With lush flavors of cherries and chocolate, this wine has fine tannins that create a silky-smooth finish. This is the house wine at my house. We always have a case on hand.
I invite you to sample all of these wines at Corks Wine Bistro in Pembroke Pines. Happy Tasting!!
The Royal Family of Wine
By Salvatore D’Elia
Managing Partner, Corks Wine Bistro