Awards and Recognition
Steve Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 2013 reviews:
90 - 2010 Cabernet Franc
Opaque ruby. Pungent smoke- and tobacco-accented scents of cassis and cherry. Sweet vanilla and mocha nuances add complexity and roundness to tangy dark berry and bitter cherry flavors, with a candied licorice quality emerging with air. Smooth and supple on the warm, sweet, gently tannic finish, which clings with good tenacity. Pretty sexy for a cabernet franc, and very approachable now. There's a hefty 15.6% alcohol here, by the way, but I don't get a sense of heat or overt viscosity.
91 - 2010 Frediani "1956 Block" Zinfandel
Opaque ruby. Pungent dark berries, cola and vanilla on the nose, with smoke and anise nuances adding complexity. Broad, fleshy and seamless, offering sweet boysenberry and blueberry flavors and a touch of candied lavender. Dusty tannins sneak up on the smoky, clinging finish.
90 - 2010 Luvisi "1908" Vineyard Zinfandel
Inky purple. Heady aromas of dark fruit liqueur, cola, licorice and smoky Indian spices. Big and palate-coating, with sweet black and blue fruit flavors showing serious depth and a warm quality. The finish clings with serious tenacity, with dusty tannins coming on late. Makes a real statement: this is sure to appeal to fans of no-holds-barred New World red wines.
Medal Winners Announced for 2013
More than 2,704 wines have been tasted and the results are now in from The Dallas Morning News and TexSom Wine Competition, the largest wine competition outside of California.
It took 56 wine experts two full days to taste and judge 2,704 entries representing 25 states and 16 foreign countries with medals awarded this year to 1,539 wines. In all, 57% of entries medaled in 2013, with 199 gold, 517 silver and 823 bronze winners. The event was held February 18-19 at the Irving Convention Center.
Read more at The Dallas Morning News and TexSom Wine Competition
The award-winning wines from this competition are:
• GOLD - 2009 Jean Louis Vermeil Cabernet Sauvignon
• GOLD - 2010 Luvisi "1908" Zinfandel
• GOLD - 2010 Charbono
• Silver - 2010 Frediani "1956 Block" Zinfandel
• Silver - 2009 Cabernet Franc
• Silver - 2010 XXXIV Proprietary Red
• Bronze - 2009 Luvisi "1908" Zinfandel
• Bronze - 2010 Cabernet Franc
Vermeil Wines received the following 2013 accolades from Wine Enthusiast Magazine; reviews from Steve Heimoff:
92 and Cellar Selection - 2009 Jean Louis Vermeil Cabernet Sauvignon
"Expensive, yes, but very fine, notable for a lovely structure and ripe, complex flavors that should develop in the cellar. It’s dry, smoothly tannic and awesomely rich with blackberries and currants, and a gorgeous application of sweet new oak. Great now, and will easily develop over the next 10 years. Cellar Selection."
90 - 2010 Frediani "1956 Block" Zinfandel
"Zin hardly gets riper or fruitier than this. Blended with a little Petite Sirah, which accounts for the tannins and depth, it's jam-packed with wild berries, currants, licorice, cocoa, black pepper and sandalwood, while high alcohol gives it a rich, glycerine mouthfeel."
88 - 2010 Luvisi "1908" Zinfandel
"Gigantic, huge, enormously extracted Zinfandel. So strong, it's practically a food group. Offers tiers of raspberries, cherries, blackberries, black currants, raisins, dark chocolate and spices. The alcohol level is very high, giving it a hot finish. It's a classic example of this old vine, super ripe style."
88 - 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
"Pretty full-bodied for a Rosé, with a copper pink color and upfront red currant, raspberry cream, vanilla and cinnamon flavors that finish a little sweet. The acidity is just fine. Nice with charcuterie."
88 - 2010 Charbono
"Charbono is an old variety in Napa Valley, now rarely grown. This wine is bitterly tannic, yet the blackberry, cherry and mocha fruit is so strong it breaks through the astringency, making the wine drinkable now. But it will age for at least a decade, maybe two. Try as an interesting alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot."
87 - 2010 Cabernet Franc
"Spectacularly ripe, with cherries and blackberries veering into raisins. Tannic too, with some bitterness, especially toward the finish."
The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of American wines in the world. In this year’s 2013 competition, more than 5,500 wines were entered for their chance at winning a medal. We are pleased to announce the following Gold awards for Vermeil Wines:
• 2010 Frediani Zinfandel
• 2010 Jean Louis Vermeil Cabernet Sauvignon
• 2010 Cabernet Franc
The 10th Annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 2013 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition
The Competition judged 2,884 wines from 943 wineries around the world. Twenty-one countries participated in the competition and medals were awarded by 20 panels of judges, consisting of wine experts, collectors and knowledgeable consumers.
Awarded Class Champion and a Double Gold
Vermeil Jean Louis Vermeil Cabernet Sauvignon Frediani Vineyard, Calistoga, 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon ( > or = $65.00)
- This magnificent vintage of our flagship Cab is characteristically dark and brooding with an inviting halo of red-purple and the mouthwatering flavors of earth, coffee and licorice, followed by a long, angular finish. You will love this wine now and those who patiently wait for two to three years will be rewarded.
Vermeil XXXIV Proprietary Red Wine, Calistoga, 2009
New World Bordeaux Blend Red and Meritage (= or > $29.00)
- This offering is an extraordinary dark purple-blue-black wine. Breathe in deep for the captivating aromas of ripe plums with a hint of green olive and crushed black pepper. The spell continues with a long, grippy finish. This wine is wonderful now, and if you can muster the patience to wait through a couple years of cellaring, you will be rewarded with a mature smoothness that you will absolutely love.
Steve Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 2012 reviews:
Cabernet Sauvignon Jean Louis Vermeil Frediani Vineyard Calistoga Napa Valley 2008
Deep ruby. Oak-spiced aromas of dark berries, cherry-compote, cola and vanilla, with a subtle pipe tobacco overtone. Plush and expansive, offering sweet blackberry and cherry-vanilla flavors lifted by a gentle peppery quality. Smooth and seamless on the gently tannic finish, which lingers with impressive intensity and appealing sweetness. (JR)
Zinfandel Luvisi "1908" Vineyard Calistoga Napa Valley 2009
Opaque ruby. Potent aromas of dark berry preserves, cola, violet and licorice, with a subtle floral note that gains strength with air. Lush and creamy in texture, offering deep blackberry and cherry compote flavors that show a suave blend of richness and energy. Becomes spicier with air and finishes long and sappy with lingering sweetness. While this wine has the depth to age it's pretty appealing right now, if rather unevolved.
XXXIV Proprietary Red Wine Calistoga Napa Valley 2009
Opaque ruby. Pungent aromas of dried cherry, cassis, licorice and botanical herbs, with subtle vanilla and cracked pepper accents that build with air. Sappy, palate-staining dark fruit flavors gain sweetness with air while retaining a spicy edge. Shows very good energy and clarity on the finish, which features suave floral pastille and licorice qualities. I find this wine quite approachable now, although it has the depth to age.
Zinfandel Frediani Vineyard 1956 Block Calistoga Napa Valley 2009
Glass-staining purple. A heady, intensely perfumed bouquet evokes black and blue fruit preserves, candied flowers and star anise, with a sneaky touch of licorice emerging with air. Warm and fleshy on the palate, offering powerful blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of cracked pepper. Finishes broad and long, with a touch of bitter chocolate and gently chewy tannins.
Dry Semillon Luvisi Vineyard Calistoga Napa Valley 2010
Light yellow-gold. Dried pear and nectarine aromas are complemented by notes of honey, vanilla and lemon pith. Pliant, expansive pit and orchard fruit flavors show good depth and become spicier and smokier with air. Shows a refreshing bitterness on the finish, which lingers with good, spicy intensity and length. Fatter than most Australian versions of the variety but in no way heavy.
Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2010
Light, bright gold. Aromas of candied lemon, fig, anise and honey, with a spicy overtone. Juicy, refreshingly bitter orchard and citrus fruit flavors provide good palate coverage and become more tangy with air. Closes smooth and gently sweet, with good energy and cling. In a fruit-driven style for sauvignon blanc, with little of the herbal character one often gets for the variety.
April 2012: Wine Enthusiast Rating of 92
for 2009 Luvisi 1908 Vineyard Zinfandel
- "The wine, from this old vineyard, contains a good chunk of Petite Sirah, which adds body and tannins to the Zinfandel. It’s a delicious wine, wonderfully drinkable, with deep, complex blackberry, cassis, dark chocolate, licorice, raisin, black pepper and sandalwood flavors that finish long and spicy." S.H.
- April 2012: Wine Enthusiast Rating of 91 for 2008 Jean Louis Vermeil Frediani Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
- "There’s no disrespect to say this Cabernet is fun to drink. It is, for the soft, charmingly interesting mouthfeel and rich, sweetly forward blackberry, cherry, chocolate, cassis, anise and oak flavors. Few Cabernets in the world get this ripe and exotic. Enjoy it now." S.H.
- January 2012: 2008 and 2009 XXXIV awarded Double Gold Awards at the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
- December 2011: Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine awards a 93 rating to 2009 Luvisi "1908" Vineyard Zinfandel
- April 2011: Wine Enthusiast awards 2008 XXXIV a 91 rating