These Same Hands Crafted Araujo, Dalla Valle and Spottswoode
When we got a call from winemaker Mia Klein about a potential Selene allocation for Wine Access, our excitement was palpable. We first fell in love with her wines back in 2007 after savoring a bottle of her Robert Parker 100-Point 2002 Dalla Valle “Maya.” Klein is “one of the most sought-after winemaking consultants in America,” according to Food & Wine, which in the past named her “Winemaker of the Year.” Blue-chip wineries such as Araujo, Dalla Valle, Viader and Spottswoode have all put her on their payrolls, and reaped droves of high scores as a result. “Every so often a wine comes along that I have to get my hand slapped, or I’ll drink it all,” she told us. “The 2013 is one of those vintages.” Just 425 cases of her 2013 Selene Merlot were produced. In practicing restraint, Klein is offering Wine Access clients the last few cases BEFORE the Bay Area’s most exciting new restaurant (predicted-to-be 3-Michelin-Starred) Single Thread locks into the rest for their coveted list.
Viader owner Delia Viader has characterized Klein’s palate as “deadly accurate.” Her pedigree is impeccable, firstly at Chappellet, and later working alongside legendary Napa consultant Tony Soter, who handed over many of his clients to her when he retired from the region.
Klein has a golden touch with Bordeaux varieties, producing sensational Merlots and Sauvignon Blancs that have landed on wine lists at Michelin-starred spots like French Laundry, Spago in Los Angeles, Charter Oak in St. Helena (Meadowood 3-Michelin-Star Chef Chris Kostow’s new restaurant) and the exceptional Single Thread in Healdsburg. But 2013 — hailed as the “greatest vintage in 37 years” by Robert Parker and “one of the all-time great vintages for Napa Valley” by Antonio Galloni — took things to a whole new level.
Fruit was drawn off the prized Frediani vineyard in Calistoga, from old vines in low-fertility rocky-gravel soils. Diurnal temperatures — blistering hot by day, bracingly cold by night — lent velvety lushness and rich opulence to this phenomenal release, Mia Klein’s favorite Merlot in years. “We got this one close to perfect,” she says.