2013 Detert Family Vineyards – A Twist on The Birthday Celebration

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The Winery

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).

The Winemaker

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 last fifteen years I have known Tom he is always flexible and available to assist, even dropping off wine at another winery for me to pick up on more than one occasion!

The Wine – 2013 Detert Cabernet Franc

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

This week we pulled a bottle of their 2013 Cabernet Franc out of the cellar. The reason behind grabbing this bottle is that it was our eldest daughter’s birthday. My wife had this thought that once a child is grown and out of the house, married with her own children, that on the child’s birthday, the mother should be celebrated for child birth! So with that thought a “solid bottle” was selected for the occasion. The bottle was the 2013 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 drink. Even being 10 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 270 cases of 2019 Cabernet Franc sells for around $100.

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.






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