M. Davis Estates “Zephyr” 2017

With the dream of owning a winery driving them, Mike and Sandy Davis purchased a 114-acre property in Calistoga on the Silverado Trail. After having a cave system constructed under the estate and building a hospitality center based on the architecture of an early 20th Century barn found on site, they opened to the public in 2016. Since then, the couple also added a 50-foot tall fully-functional windmill, that has become an iconic landmark.

Although Calistoga is their main estate, they have expanded to include 20 acres in Howell Mountain, 7 acres in Carneros, and 1.5 acres in Rutherford. One only has to look at the pictures of the 11,000 square foot caves, the intimate tasting areas and the swanky Cellarium (infrared hand print of a Founder’s Club member needed to enter), to see that a visit here would be an experience.

The wine we were asked to sample is the 2017 Zephyr (a westerly or gentle breeze) composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. One first notices the rich aromas of red and black fruit (black currant, plum, dark cherry) and a mocha element (coco powder and fresh brewed coffee). The nature of the fruit is ripe and almost compote like. The palate is dry, with evident alcohol, with well polymerized and integrated fine grained tannin structure. The palate displays the same dark stewed fruit (currant, plum, fig), sweet baking spices (anise, nutmeg) and a powdery coco and torrefaction note.  This big wine needs some roasted beast as a dance partner. Serve with rib roast, slow roasted pork or leg of lamb. With only 1399 cases produced, this rare treat will elevate any special evening. SRP $145