Hanging with Tuck Beckstoffer

Our last stop on our first day in Napa was with Tuck Beckstoffer of Vinifera Vineyards, Beckstoffer Vineyards, 75 Wine Co., and Private Reserve Jets.  From the moment we met and shook hands, I knew that Tuck was my kind of guy.  He was business and casual at the same time, with a warm and welcome demeanor.  When we sat down to try some wines I knew I was in for some prime tasting.

The Beckstoffers have been working with grapes and acquiring land in California since 1969, and Napa since 1975 (hence the name 75 Wine Co.).  They are now the largest private landholders in Napa Valley and source grapes out to such wine greats as Paul Hobbs, Plumpjack, Broman, Merryvale, Provenance, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, and Clos du Val.  Tuck himself has worked at Cakebread Cellars and Far Niente.  All of this and being part of the 1987 America's Cup winning Stars and Stripes crew make for the right person to drink some vino with.

We tried four of his wines:

  • 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley- this 100% stainless steel organic white was in tune with my buds.  It had a good amount of citrus, though not as much grapefruit as I like (ala New Zealand).  Still, it was a bit tropical and had a nice creamy texture from sur lie aging.

  • New Bordeaux like blend- this is a new release from Tuck which was still was sans label.  It is a Sauvgnon Blanc/Semillon blend which had more floral components and body than the '07 Sauvignon.  Can't wait to see this one in the Chicago market.

  • 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Amber Knolls Vineyard- with a floral and tart red fruit nose which leads into dark fruit flavor, spice, earth, and chocolate.  Has fine body and aging potential.

  • 2005 Vinifera Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley- another fine Cab with added leather and pepper components. 

Tuck has a mission-

"We are committed to producing and offering hand-crafted wines from the finest vineyards in California at a reasonable price in a package that will compete for attention in the finest restaurants in the world."

Have to love some high quality Napa wines which fall into the $15-35 price range!  Now, you cannot get these wines everywhere as Tuck is picky about who he lets vend his wines (which is a good thing) but I have seen some of them available for online purchase.  Pick them up if you get the chance.

We left 75 Wine Co. bound for Sonoma and some rest.  But we would get a chance to see Tuck again the next day...