What comes to mind when you think of the American dream? As an American I have always believed America is a country where any one can become who they want to be. It may not always be easy or cut and dry, but ultimately people in America can rise above poverty and difficult circumstance through hard work and determination to achieve economic success. It is not a perfect system but it is a system that allows a younger generation to be more economically successful than the previous generation. America was founded on this dream and the dream was embraced by millions all over the earth who came to America from many different countries seeking a new start and better life for themselves and their families. Mike Grgich was part of this dream.
Mike Grgich was born in Croatia. In 1954, he left communist Yugoslavia to find a better life in America. In 1958, he had finally made his way to Napa Valley penniless but with the important skill of winemaking. Grgich was offered many roles as a winemaker throughout the years, but it was his role as winemaker at Chateau Montelena crafting the 1973 Chardonnay that won the Judgement of Paris in 1976 that sky rocketed Grgich to icon status. After the Judgement Grgich partnered with Mike Hill to begin the family owned and operated Grgich Hills Estate producing high quality wines. Today, at the age of 93, he is still involved at Grgich Hills Estates, where is daughter Violet is now Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
I have never met Mike Grgich but if I did I think I would give him a hug. He is an excellent embodiment of the American Dream in the spirit of the way this country was founded and how truly hard work and determination can allow for any possibility. You can read more about Mr Grgich and his legacy in his book “A Glass Full of Miracles.”
Once again I have had the blessing of receiving three wines from Grgich Hills Estates. Each of these varietals are estate grown and as always are of the highest quality. Furthermore, these wines are excellent accompaniments to all your spring and summer cuisines!
Grgich Hills Napa Valley Chardonnay 2013: American love Chardonnay and Mike Grgich is the Chardonnay King! This 100% Chardonnay is classically styled with no malolactic fermentation; fermented and aged in 60% neutral French oak and 40% new French oak for 10 months. The grapes are cultivated in Grgich Hills American Canyon and Carneros vineyards near San Pablo Bay. The cool maritime breezes and morning fog allow the grapes to slowly ripen to develop complex flavors while maintaining a pleasing natural acidity. It poured a soft gold into the glass; aromas of orchard and stone fruit permeate the glass, with melons, tropical fruit, and toasted cedar; rich and round on the palate with crisp acidity that is zesty on the palate, mouth coating and a long, lingering finish. SRP $43 direct from Grgich Hills Estate. A perfect wine to enjoy on the patio with seafood, shellfish, poultry, summer salads and cheeses.
Grgich Hills Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013: Crafted of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc with grapes cultivated on Grgich Hills vineyards in Yountville, Rutherford, and Calistoga. Garnet in the glass; aromas of black cherries, plums and black raspberries are met with chocolate, baking spices, licorice and vanilla with a classic hint of Rutherford dust; round on the palate with layers of silky texture and depth of flavors, well-balanced acidity and tannins coat the mouth, full body, lingering finish. Fermented with indigenous yeast and aged 21 months in 60% new French oak. SRP $69 direct from Grgich Hills Estate. Enjoy this wine with your summer grilling of steaks, pork, smoked brisket, and delicious burgers.
Grgich Hills Napa Valley Zinfandel 2012: Crafted of 98% Zinfandel and 2% Petite Sirah from the warmest of all five Grgich Hills vineyards in Calistoga, with an abundance of morning sun, shade in the hot afternoons and gravelly loam soil, this vineyard is the perfect spot to produce high quality zinfandel; fermented with indigenous yeast and aged 15 months in large French oak casks. Soft garnet in the glass; vibrant fruit forward aromas of black cherries, blue berries and black berries, with spice notes, black pepper and a touch of toasted hazelnuts; lighter than I was expected and quite delicious, vibrant, long and lean on the palate with round acidity and well-integrated tannins, a well-struucted wine with a long, pleasant finish. SRP $36 direct from Grgich Hills Estate. A bold red to enjoy with all types of smoked meats and barbeque, grilled steaks, and my favorite sausage pizza!
I encourage you to visit Grgich Hills Estate web site to learn more about the winery, the legacy of Mike Grgich, view their entire portfolio of wines and order these wines for your spring and summer enjoyment!
My Song Selection: These full body Napa Valley wines are easy and comfortable like a long time favorite rock band; not too hard or too soft…just right!
Get your own bottles of Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!