Odette Estate Winery is located in the Staggs Leap District in the Napa Valley along the Silverado Trail. The site was once home to Steltzner Vineyard which I visited many years ago. Richard Steltzner planted his first vineyard in the on the property in the 1960s, helped establish the appellation and released their first wines in 1977. Recently the Plumpjack Group, the wine and hospitality company founded by Gavin Newsom and Gordon Getty in 1992 which also owns Plumpjack Winery in Oakville (formerly Villa Mt. Eden winery) and Cade Estate Winery on Howell Mountain, purchased the Steltzner Vineyards’ 36-acre vineyard and winery.
The Steltzner family is maintaining ownership of the Steltzner brand and will relocate their operations to a new location and will continue to grow grapes at other vineyards in Stags Leap, the Oak Knoll District and Napa.
Jeff Owens, who was assistant winemaker at Cade, is the new winemaker at the new Odette Estate Winery facility. I’m not 100% sure where they derived the name "Odette", but it is the name of a Princess in the ballet Swan Lake, which would make sense as they are seeking to create softer more “feminine” style wines. The winery will produce around 10,000 cases annually, including a second brand (Adaptation) that will only be available at the tasting room, with the wines retailing from $30 to $150.
Unfortunately Odette Estate Winery’s first vintage is not yet for sale but they plan to release its first wine from the Steltzner property, a Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2011 vintage, in December 2012. I visited Plumpjack Winery in March 2012 [http://www.californiawinetastingadventures.net/2012/03/orange-poppies-in-vineyard-at-plumpjack.html] so I was family with earlier vintages of Plumpjack and Cade wines. I was also able to taste a number of their Adaptation wines. Odette Estate Winery’s wines are release under the new label I’ll return to the tasting room and update this review.
2011 Adaptation Chardonnay
This is a clear white wine, pale straw in color with moderate viscosity. On the nose it has subtle aromas of green apples, pears, white peach, and lemon zest. On the palate it is peach and citrus driven with medium+ acidity, medium body with a medium+ length finish. If you don’t like the typical oaky, buttery California style this one will be more of your liking, it sells for $28 per bottle.
2012 Adaptation Cabernet Sauvignon
It is an opaque red wine, dark ruby at the core to pink at the rim with medium+ viscosity and heavy staining tears. On the nose it has subtle aromas of black currants, cherry pie, blueberries and vanilla. On the palate it is “dry” but seems to have some residual sugar, it is fruit forward, very soft with medium tannins, moderate acidity, and medium body and a medium length finish. This is probably one of the easiest drinking Cabs I have experienced in the Napa Valley, it sells for $44 per bottle.
2011 Adaptation Pinotage
Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault and is well known in South Africa. There is very little of it grown in California. It is an opaque dark red wine, scarlet at the core to ruby at the rim with medium+ viscosity and staining tears. On the nose it has moderate intense aromas of wild blackberries, bramble bush, tar, hints of black pepper and dry earth. On the palate it is dry with aggressive medium+ tannins, it has medium acidity, it is medium bodied and has a moderate length finish. This wine is somewhat funky and disjointed on its own (which is typical of Pinotage) and its needs some barbequed meat or deli meat (salami) to show at its best. It sells for $40 per bottle.
2011 Plumpjack Estate Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petite Verdot. It is an opaque red wine, dark ruby at the core to pink at the rim with medium+ viscosity and staining tears. On the nose it is clean with subtle aromas of cassis, blackberries, dark chocolate, and vanilla with minor notes of black licorice and anise. On the palate it is dry, soft on entry with a velvety mid-palate, it has well refined medium+ tannins, medium+ acidity, it is full bodied and a moderate length finish. This wine sells for $98 per bottle.
2011 Cade Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
It is an opaque red wine, dark scarlet red at the core to ruby at the rim with medium+ viscosity and staining tears. On the nose it has medium- aromas of black currants, blackberry pie, vanilla with hints of mint, black pepper and a touch of damp earth. On the palate it is dry with medium+ refined tannins, medium+ acidity, and a moderate length pepper and spice driven finish. This wine it sells for $80 per bottle.
2011 Cade Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
It is an opaque red wine, dark ruby red at the core to pink at the rim with medium+ viscosity and staining tears. On the nose it has subtle aromas of black currants, black cherries, dusty earth, and vanilla. On the palate it is dry with medium+ tannins, medium acidity, and a moderate length pepper and spice driven finish. This wine it sells for $60 per bottle.
To visit or for more information:
Odette Estate Winery
5998 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
Phone: (707) 224-7533