Those familiar with Detert Family Vineyards know that Detert is an established winery. W.F. Detert came to the US in 1866. He operated a gold mine in Jackson, sold it and in 1912 he owned 22,000 acres in Guenoc Ranch in Lake County as well as other ranches/gold mines in Amador Placer and El Dorado Counties. W.F. died in 1929 and it was managed by his son Richard Detert who died in 1951. Tom Garrett, one of the current owners, great-grandmother, Hedwig Detert, sold the Guenoc Ranch and purchased 50 acres of the To Kalon Vineyard from Martin Stelling estate in Oakville in 1954.That is when the Detert Vineyard was named. Today it is known as one of the most prestigious vineyards in all of Napa Valley. In 1966 Detert Vineyards started selling their grapes to Robert Mondavi. For many years Robert used Detert Family Vineyards Cabernet Franc for blending. Today the owners of Detert are all great grandsons of Hedwig Detert: Tom Garrett, John Garrett and Bill Cover. Their first commercial wines were Cabernet Franc (2000) and Cabernet Sauvignon (2002).
Tom Garrett is the winemaker for the Detert Family Vineyards. Tom started in 1999 at Turley Wine Cellars and then over the next 15 years worked at various wineries. The list shows some exceptional wineries such as Joseph Phelps, Robert Mondavi and Revana Family Vineyards. Tom focused his time with Detert and his other winery Dakota Shy. Tom is well known and perhaps one of the most congenial and pleasant people in Napa Valley. Over the ten years I have known Tom he is always flexible and available to assist, even dropping off wine at another winery for me on more than one occasion!
Last week pulled two exquisite bottles out of the cellar. The first bottle was the 2014 Cabernet Franc. The extremely dark and lush color and medium-heavy viscosity entices one to sip and taste. On the nose black cherries engulfed the olfactory senses. On the palate, soft vanilla pipe tobacco, black pepper contrast with chocolate flavors. The finish was long and extremely enjoyable. This is a quality Cabernet Franc and something special to participate in drinking. Even being 12 years old, (8 years in the cellar), it was bright with fruit, well-structured with tannins and layers of enjoyment. The current allocated release of their 250 cases of 2018 Cabernet Franc sells for $95.
The second bottle was the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. When looking at the Detert Family Vineyards logo one might expect a “gnarly, rough and tumble” wine. Nothing could be further from the truth. This Cabernet Sauvignon was smooth and feminine with softness. Again, a dark red crimson color on the eyes. On the nose floral notes of violets, cherry and black licorice. On the palate, everything you desire from an excellent classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. On the palate, fruit and spices abound with juiciness and overpowering opulence. A long and special experience awaited each sip. The current allocated release of their 350 cases of 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon sells for $95.
Their wines, both Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, have for many years made my “Best Wines of The Year List”. I know this trend will continue.