Low Alchohal (Alchohol, think I could learn to spell this by now) Napa wines

Randy Dunn talks about lower alchohol wines - his wines I think are currently around 14%. Wines that I have and have seen from Napa and Sonoma County that are 20+ years old seem to be mostly in the 12 and 13 range certainly significantly lower than today’s standards.

Just for fun (based on all the higher alch wines out there these days), I made a quick list of wines from Napa that are around 13.5% alchohol - some are consistently made this way some depends on the vintage. Maybe others can add to this list…I know there are more out there from Napa.

Tedeschi Family (consistently in 13’s)
Miller Wine Works
Signorello (Carneros Cab)
Corison (not all)
Rowland Cellars
Hess Select Mendocino, Lake, Napa County
Trinchero Stagecoach Vineyard
Frogs leap, reds are in the 13’s
Clos du Val, some
4 bears winery
Mt Veeder
Fransciscan Oakville Estate
Folie a Deux, Red
Pavilion 2006
Relativity Vineyards


This ongoing discussion brought out something amusing in my own tasting technique: I almost never check alcohol levels in wine unless it’s obviously high and tastes out of balance. I’ll start taking closer note and add to the empirical evidence.

I basically do the same thing, though what I have found is that while I feel sensitive to EtOH it doesn’t correspond to the wines with high EtOH. For instance, I tried a cotes du rhone the other day that tasted quite hot on the finish, stated EtOH 13.5%.

As with everything else in wine, it seems like balance is the key.