Today at 11am Emmy award-winning film critic, and my sweet hubby, Gary Cogill and I will join KXAS/NBC DFW to do one of my favorite things in the world, talk wine and film together. We have just celebrated our 100th podcast doing just that (linked here) and are in the midst of our mainland adventure to talk “Oscars 2020” before the big show next weekend (next weekend!!!) If you haven’t set your DVR thinking the show isn’t due to air until the end of February, set it now. The Academy moved the show up a few weeks this year; a move they have immediately moved back to the end of the month for next year’s show.
A link to the segment is here, and a little more on the pairings for Gary’s top picks below. #Cheers
The Film: “1917”
The Wine: Abacus
ZD Winery was started in 1969 by the Zepponi and deLueze family, today fully owned and operated by the deLuze family, with the 2nd and 3rd generations carrying out the vision of their founders. That vision, to craft premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, while focusing on smart ecology, taking care of the environment, all while producing varietally correct, simply delicious wines.
Over 20 years ago the idea of Abacus was born between siblings, Robert and Brett deLeuze, while enjoying older vintages of ZD Cabernet Sauvignon. They came up with the idea of blending older vintages together to create a finished wine. *It is amazing the brilliant ideas you have late at night after several glasses.
Their idea was to take the current ZD Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and a solera-style blending technique and create a wine with an ultimate level of complexity, harmony, and intensity. This is how they make Sherry. A solera system is composed of several “solera rows” stacked on top of each other. Each row is made up of many barrels. The wine moves from the top-most row to the bottom-most row before being bottled over a period of several years, ensuring both older and younger wines are always a part of the blend.
The ZD’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has been produced every year since 1992 and each vintage is always 100% Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon blended from the finest lots of the vintage. The wine is aged for three years in the barrel which allows access to the young reserve wines as a blending component to Abacus, ensuring a component of young, fruit-forward wine in the ever-developing Abacus solera.
The First Bottling of Abacus was released in 1999. It was a blend of seven vintages of the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, from 1992-1998. Only 15% of the solera was bottled for the first release and the remaining 85% was returned to barrel for another year of aging. The current Abacus XXI (Twenty-First Bottling) blends 27 vintages of ZD’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon including 1992 through 2018 vintages.
Third-generation deLeuze family member and Winemaker Brandon deLeuze made a charming notation on their wines at a recent Abacus event, saying the reason the ZD Cabernet Sauvignon is so delicious, vintage after vintage is because the winery cut its teeth on making premium Pinot Noir from cool Carneros.
Cabernet is an easy grape to grow, and an easy wine to make, unlike Pinot Noir, the first love of his grandfather, co-founder Norman deLeuze.
Norman loved Pinot Noir, made in an Old World style, not minding the finicky nature of the delicate variety. Perfecting such a hard to manage grape made crafting luxurious Cabernet Sauvignon a breeze. Each and every wine from ZD shows this dedication to craftsmanship, and honoring those that laid the path before them.
The Film: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
The Wine: Frank Family Vineyards
I love how this is almost a love letter to the Hollywood Tarantino grew up with. Someone else who had a long love of Hollywood is Rich Frank, founder of Napa’s Frank Family Vineyards.
Rich founded Frank Family Vineyards in 1992 after leaving a wildly successful long-term career in Hollywood. He was Chairman of Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications and headed Disney’s syndication arm Buena Vista. He was then President of Walt Disney Studios, overseeing the development of The Disney Channel.
Under Frank’s leadership, movie properties such as “Dead Poet’s Society,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” “Pretty Woman,” “Father of the Bride,” “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” achieved phenomenal success.
He departed Hollywood to follow his interest and passion in wine, creating one of Napa Valley’s most beloved wineries, with one of the best tasting rooms in the valley. Frank Family wines are solid, consistently delicious, varietally correct, wines with structure and balance. Any opportunity to enjoy one of the Frank Family wines is a treat. This comes from Frank, and his wife, Leslie Franks’ dedication to the property and their mutual adoration of the grape, along with the talent of GM and Winemaker, who has been with Frank since the beginning, Todd Graff.
Frank Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is textured, focused, and refined, melding blackberries, black cherry, mocha, and espresso.
Frank Family Zinfandel is spicy, slightly peppery, juicy and robust with a broad palate and luscious texture.
A consistent favorite, Frank Family Chardonnay melds bright, fresh acidity with a richness to create a complete, consistently delicious wine with ripe apple, melon, lemon, and honeysuckle.
The Film: “Parasite”
The Wine: Dana Estates and Vaso Cellars
In the early 1970s a young South Korean entrepreneur, Hi Sang Lee, was in the United States on an extended business trip when on his twenty-seventh birthday, a friend introduced him to wine. Lee’s very first taste of alcohol, was a $20 splurge, a 1970 first-growth Bordeaux. From that sip, his passion for the grape was born, delivering him to create an uber-luxurious Napa Valley winery, Dana Estate, focusing on single-vineyard wines that express the character of Napa Valley. These wines are insanely delicious wines.
A few years ago Vaso Cellars was created as a second, more introductory tier, from the same prestigious vineyards for Dana. On Howell Mountain, a tiny parcel of Sauvignon Blanc grows in the Hershey Vineyard, giving the winery the ability to make a gorgeous, Bordeaux style white wine. Aged slowly in neutral French oak and concrete eggs, over 18 months, the balanced wine melds crème brulee, lemon curd, and honeysuckle with bright acidity, giving you a layered, luscious wine.