Manuel Pires may be angling to be living proof that to make a small fortune in the wine industry you should start with a large one. He has taken the wealth he accumulated as a successful tech. entrepreneur and spent it on 150 acres of prime land on Napa’s famed Pritchard Hill to create Gandona Wines. He also contracts with wunderkind winemaker Philippe Melka to produce just 2,000 cases of prodigious California Cabernet Sauvignon.
Despite being in business only since 2006 (the vines are much older – 20 years total – formerly being part of Long Vineyards) he has already garnered a reputation for quality and being a name to watch. His 2009 Gandona Cabernet Sauvignon was rated 97/100 points by the wine critic, Robert Parker.
Luckily for us, the movers behind WinePoste.com, a new and novel wine retailer in the Dallas design district, had the foresight to stock Gandona wines and host a tasting with him at the store this week. He currently has two wines. The 2010 Gandona Encosta Cabernet Sauvignon ($89.99) is deep and luscious 100% Cabernet with soft tannins and dark cassis fruit. In the mouth there is a firm backbone of minerality, something that Pires attributes to the red soil (a mixture of iron-rich clay and sand). The 2010 Gandona Cabernet Sauvignon ($199.99) betrays its similar soil and climatic origins (Girona uses only estate fruit) but is more intense and bigger in every dimension.
Given such concentration, the remarkable thing is that no parameters are out of line. This is a very harmonious wine and I would love to cellar it for a decade before trying it again as, hopefully, a mature product. Parker (through his successor on California wines) indicated its youth when he rated it with a relatively wide band of 91-94 points.
Contact WinePost.com to purchase – including just $5 shipping for a limited time, and ask about case discounts.