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Saturday, January 1, 2000

Pott: The Man, The Myth, The Wine Legend

Pott: The Man, The Myth, The Wine Legend
Marcy Roth of Bacchus & Venus Wines and Winemaker Aaron Pott overlooking St. Helena

"Winemakers in America are a pretty politic bunch. They rarely talk about their problems or the work of their peers, and if they do, it will be in the most oblique terms. They might talk about distribution and sales but they never talk about how much they earn. They tend to be circumspect, conservative and cautious. Happily, Aaron Pott is none of these things."  
Lettie Teague, Wall Street Journal
One of our favorite Napa Valley winemakers was recently featured in an article by Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal. The article highlights current wine projects, accomplishments and the eccentricities of the one and only Aaron Pott.

Aaron on the job

So what exactly makes these highly sought-after, special wines just so special? Aaron aspires to make wines like those that were made in Napa Valley more than 20 years ago. “I think I’m looking for what existed in Napa before the late 90s. All these artificially concentrated, superfruity wines are a bit boring... I’ve tasted so many great, older Napa wines, and I always wonder, why aren’t we making these wines anymore?” His wines, such as Her Majesty’s Secret Service and The Oligarch are downright inspiring. They are utterly complex, filled with dark stewy flavors that taste like they’ve come from the best chateaus of Bordeaux.

Pruning is hard work

Aaron does more than just winemaking for his own label. Aside from Pott Wines, he makes several other wines, including two that we carry here at Bacchus & Venus: Chester's Anvil and Bello Family Wines.

Chester's Anvil is a collaboration among friends and neighbors, Aaron and Claire Pott of Pott Wines with Steve Lagier and Carole Meredith of Meredith Lagier Vineyard. The joint venture came about as an excuse to work with friends on a 4.5 acre vineyard on Napa's Mount Veeder. These wines have no investors, no consultants and no employees. Carole and Steve planted the vineyard themselves back in 1985, only guessing at the true potential of their new vineyard. 

Our customers come back time and time again for the Chester's Anvil 2010 Malbec. Malbec is a grape that is gaining popularity in the United States at a cosmic rate.This Malbec explodes with floral accents like violets and mint, plus hints of chocolate and black raspberries. We think this Napa Malbec is just as robust as Malbec grown south of the equator.

While I was boning up on my Aaron Pott trivia, I noticed his name in conjunction with a wine I had never seen, never heard of, and unfortunately never tasted -- Bello Family. At Bacchus & Venus, we make a point to try every single wine that Aaron has laid his hands on, so this discovery, as you can imagine, was quite disconcerting. We pulled a couple strings and voila! The Bello Family Wines landed right in our glasses one Thursday evening. We went in with high hopes and a giddy anticipation.

A view of the Bello Family's Estate vineyard

The Bello Family wines, made by Aaron, are also under the supervision of Vineyard Manager David Abreu. Now, admittedly, paying attention to all of the vineyard managers who criss-cross California these days is challenging. However, with the name David Abreu attached to your wine, you know it's going to be the highest quality. The grapes from these wines also come from the Stagecoach Vineyard. Are we missing anything here? Premier winemaker, premier vineyard manager, premier vineyard. All of these factors add up to wines that are bound to knock you off your chair.

As a result of this tasting, our February Wine Club will feature the 2009 Bello Family Marsanne in our Sampler Wine Club while the 2009 Bello Family Cabernet Sauvignon will be featured in our Reserve Wine Club. 

Bello Family Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley Marsanne 2009
The aromas are light jasmine, sea breeze, lemon honeysuckle. Think "lemon pound cake" (At least that was my internal dialog.

Bello Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
This wine is pure decadence. Such alluring and seductive aromas drift up from the glass, it almost seems a crime to take a sip of it. There are stunning  flavors of dark berries, plums and mocha that will bring  you come back sip after sip (after sip after sip).

Aaron doing "Master Somm Theater"

To purchase any of Aaron's artfully crafted wines, come visit us in Sausalito, shop online or call us.

(415) 331-2001

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