This small winery is best-known for their Cabernet Sauvignon and “Bordeaux blends”, as they are situated on historic vineyard land in St. Helena, California. However, they’ve got a passion for several white wines like Chardonnay, Vin Clair and a rare Aligote that is oak aged. One of the most enjoyable aspects of visiting YoungInglewood Winery is not just the tasting of exquisite wines, but partaking in intelligent, purposed and thoughtful discussion of wine.
To begin, Jim and Jacky met while in college and shared a passion/drive with wine. Jim and Jacky Young bought a historic piece of land in southern St Helena and have today all five Bordeaux varietals planted. It is truly a family winery with Jim handling the operations and Jacky and son Scott, being the co-winemakers on property. Their daughter, Mary helps in the operations as well as providing an occasional flute recital. Their Wine Education Director/Membership Director, a longtime friend Mark Simon is always there to help out in various capacities.
Their time spent in Europe cultivated a real sense of old world wines and that is exactly how they construct both their red and white wines. They like to describe themselves as presenting “old world non-interventionist” winemaking techniques. It surely shows in their incredible wines.
I seldom talk about wine labels but theirs is the exception. The label is one of the simplest yet says so much about their wine with the balancing of the tightrope walker. This is a paradigm for balance in the fruit, tannins, acidity and color. A little too much of any one item, and a misstep happens. Even deeper is their aspiring sense of balance in life, starting in the vineyards with organic and sustainable practices.
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Pulled this bottle out of the cellar the other night “just for fun”. While it was fun, it was even more as the enjoyment was worthy of the nine year wait! The wine is from their estate fruit. Barreling was 100% French oak with 40% being new barrels and aged 21 months. The blend used 86% Cabernet Franc and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and only 136 cases produced. Each year the percentage mix and grapes are varied based on the winemaker and what nature provides.
On the eyes an alluring and dark concoction with red and purple highlights with medium to medium-heavy viscosity. On the nose aromatics of raspberries and dark fruits. On the palate, this is one of the quintessential Cabernet Franc’s with hints of blackberries, strawberries and only a faint trace of pyrazines. The finish provided silky and rounded tannins, a soft earthiness. Truly a remarkable and elegant Cabernet Franc. The current vintage is 2017 and the 2018 is going to be released in two weeks. Price is $110.
This wine will make my Best Wines Tasted in 2022 for sure. Treat yourself to a visit to YoungInglewood Winery as each wine is purposed and handcrafted.