2008 Wallis Family Estate ‘Little Sister Red Wine

Mission Codename: Not your average little sister

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Revisit our friends at Wallis Family Estate and abscond with their delicious Little Syster Red Wine

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Wallis Family Estate

Wine Subject: 2008 Little Sister Diamond Mountain District Red Table Wine

Winemaker: Thomas Rivers Brown

Backgrounder: The grapes for today’s proprietary blend come from the esteemed Diamond Mountain District of Napa Valley. The Diamond District AVA (American Viticultural Area) at the northern tip of the Napa Valley, is part of the Mayacamas Mountains. The higher elevation of the region sees more direct sunlight and less cooling that the rest of the valley, leading to the production of some of the most concentrated and delicious Cabernet Sauvignon in the entire Napa Valley.

Today’s fantastic blend of Bordeaux varietals is 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Beautifully dark and dense purple with a dense clear core that barely lets the light show through. Where it does and along the edges, the color remains a dark garnet purple. When swirled, widely spaced medium-fat legs descend quickly to the wine below.

Smell – Fragrant and redolent ripe sweet black and blue fruit including ripe cherry, blackberry and raspberry mingle with floral and earthy forest aromas. Add a touch of sweet and baking spice, smoke and hints of sweet tobacco to that and its surrounded by its balanced oak framework.

Feel – This dry full-bodied wine is very smooth initially on the palate then at mid palate its round tannins interact with a touch of tangy acidity and mouth drying mountain minerality to create an expansive and chewy mouth feel.

Taste – Layers of ripe and plump red and black fruit including black cherry, black raspberry, plum and blackberry create a jammy flavor profile. Just underneath the abundant fruit lies complex layers of sweet tobacco, spice, earthy notes, hints of mocha and toasted oak.

Finish – Very long with the ripe fruit lingering as the other complex flavors fade. Once the fruit fades, this wine’s mouth drying structure lasts until your watering mouth begs for another sip.

Conclusion – The 2008 Wallis Family Estate Little Sister Diamond Mountain District Red Table Wine is a delicious fruit forward and generous wine with nice complexity and a mouth feel that starts super plush then trends to show its mountain heritage. A great wine to pair with grilled game meat or steaks. Drinking amazingly well now for a relatively youthful wine, but will continue to improve in the cellar for five to seven years.

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Edward Wallis


RED: Hello Edward, It’s been a couple of years since we had a chance to share your fabulous wines with our operatives. Please tell us about the Wallis Family Estate 2008 Little Sister.

EDWARD: Well Agent Red, it has been an interesting two years. The Wallis 2008 Little Sister is the first chance to see the result of a very long work in progress. Our winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown, has crafted a delightful blended Cabernet from our vineyards from the Diamond Mountain District in the Napa Valley.

RED: Ok I’ll bite, what’s the proprietary blend, and why is so special?

EDWARD: We have eight different blocks of varietals in our vineyard. There are five different blocks of Cabernet, single blocks of Merlot, Cab Franc, and Petit Verdot. The 2008 Little Sister is 61 Percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 17 Percent Cabernet Franc, 13 Percent Merlot, and 9 Percent Petit Verdot . We are required to call it Red Wine because it falls below the 75 percent varietal requirement. I believe that it is special because the blend makes the wine so much deeper in palette flavors, and aromas. It’s like a symphony compared to a solo.

RED: Wow ! I see what you mean. Please tell us a little bit about your winemaker Thomas Brown.

EDWARD: Thomas is a little like Merlin. Soft spoken, crazy smart, and he takes meticulous care in his handling of the fruit in the field, and also during the wine making process. He tries to let the wine make itself with gentle guidance. He carefully selects a combination of different French oak barrels. The wines are made in a hospital type environment, with constant surveillance of their chemistry. It is a quiet and thoughtful process.

RED: How have the first tier critics received the 2008 Little Sister ?

EDWARD: We have enjoyed a nice selection of critical review. Mr. Parker describes Little Sister as “A new discovery for me, these two reds (Wallis DMD Cabernet is the other) are both impressive efforts made in an elegant, fresh, lively style with plenty of depth and richness.” Another recommendation came from The San Francisco International Wine Competition where the Wallis 2008 Little Sister won a Double Gold Medal. Only 153 entries out of 4180 got that honor !

RED: Congratulations, I hope our operatives see what a great value we are offering during this sale. An award winning and critically acclaimed, red wine from the Diamond Mountain District in the Napa Valley. Made by Thomas Rivers Brown to boot.

EDWARD: We came to you because your Operatives are savvy, and always on the hunt for the rare, and undiscovered.

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