2008 Kelley & Young Wines Nuits de Young

Mission Codename: Not your Father’s wine

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: In time for Mother’s Day, return to Kelley & Young Winery, and secure an exclusive allotment of their unique 2008 Nuits de Young, a rosé fit for a queen

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Kelley & Young Winery

Wine Subject: 2008 Nuits de Young rosé

Winemaker: Jim Young

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Like beautiful raspberry juice, this wine shows gorgeous red hues, right out its fine pink edges. The wine has a slow-moving surface, giving it a dense and weighty look. When it settles, tightly-packed columns of slow-moving tears make their way down the glass.

Smell – Ripe strawberry, soft candy apple and delicate dried red flower petals. These are followed by a hint of fresh herbs. As the wine warms slightly, juicy red raspberry shows up, penetrating deeply into your nose.

Feel – Velvet smooth, soft and round with a pronounced mid-palate plushness that makes the wine a joy to roll all around in your mouth. After swallowing, a very subtle dryness slowly eases its way across the palate.

Taste – Strawberry leads the way, accompanied by black cherry (a surprise, given the lighter color of the wine), a subtle hint of brown spice and an easy minerality.

Finish – Finishes juicy and flavorful, then slightly dry as a soft and chalky mineral flavor appears.

Conclusion – Be very careful with this delicious wine, for it invites sip after fabulous sip. This is an extremely easy wine to drink and, since the alcohol is relatively low, I found myself enjoying more than one big glass for this review. As the weather warms, this is a perfect afternoon aperitif. It also plays well with lighter foods, such as a fantastic cheese and fruit plate. Try the wine at different temperatures for a widely varied drinking experience. If you are looking for a delicious rosé that will be certain to impress Mom, this wine gets our heartiest recommendation. Just don’t forget to snap some up for yourself, as well!

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Jim Young

WINE EDUCATION: In 1975 I graduated from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelors of Science degree in Viticulture. While at Davis, I also took most of the Enology classes that were offered.

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: After graduating from Davis I returned to my family’s vineyard operation in Alexander Valley. I currently oversee 320 acres and 12 different varietals of wine grapes. I have been a home winemaker since the beginning. My wife Kathleen and I began our Kelley & Young wine production in 2005.

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Most of the wines quality and character comes from the vineyard. We try to grow our vines in such a way to help us create wines with balance and grace.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: We believe that a balanced vine makes the best wine.

FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 2005 Sauvignon Blanc was released in September of 2007

WINEMAKER INTERVIEW AGENT RED: Greetings, Jim. We are thrilled to be showing your 2008 Nuits de Young today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

JIM: Thanks, Agent Red. It’s a pleasure to be here.

RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

JIM: My inspiration for wine came from being a grape grower for most of my life. We were trying to grow the best grapes and that really turned into trying to grow the best wine.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

JIM: I really don’t think that there was any one winemaker that influenced my style. The style really begins in the vineyard. The style comes from the land and climate where they are grown, what people refer to as the terroir. We try to take that and produce a wine that is balanced, harmonious and with full fruit flavor. Something that is full and wonderful in your mouth.

RED: Who do you make wine for?

JIM: I make wines that we like to drink. Wines that are well balanced, not too tart, not too tannic, etc.

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

JIM: The 2008 Nuits de Young is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. It is made in a rose’ style but is a deep garnet color. It is grown on our family’s estate in Alexander Valley. The grapes are sent direct to press and allowed to sit on the skins to pick up flavor and color but are not fermented on the skins. The juice was fermented in stainless steel and spent 3 months in neutral French oak barrels. We do not put the wine through malolactic fermentation so as to preserve the natural acidity in the wine.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

JIM: The fruitiness of this wine makes it a natural with roasted meats like pork or fowl. We especially like it with meats that are paired with fruits; pork and roasted apples or fruit chutney, turkey and cranberries, but it is also amazing with cheeses, especially soft ripe cheeses or even fruit desserts. We find it is a wine that could be used instead of a pinot noir, in fact the fruit flavors are similar to many pinots and stand up to the stronger flavors of meats.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Alexander Valley so special?

JIM: The Alexander Valley is well known as a Bordeaux varietals region. I believe this is because we receive enough heat to fully ripen these varietals, and we still have the cool evenings to help preserve the grape’s acidity. We also have a wealth of soil types and terrain to grow these varietals to their best potential. What makes it special? The soil and the climate.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

JIM: In the vineyards we’re keeping a watchful eye on the thermometer to make sure the temperatures don’t drop below freezing. This could damage the vines and this year’s crop. We’re also beginning shoot thinning of the new growth to promote a good balance between crop and vine growth for the season. In the cellar it’s a fairly hectic time. We’re making final adjustments to the wines in preparation for bottling. We’re very excited as we prepare to bottle a new wine to our line-up, our 2008 Zinfandel.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

JIM: Approach all wines with an open mind. Wine is a food and comes from many different regions and is made in many different ways. Trust your own palate and enjoy the many wines available.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: