Clos Pegase is located within a walled estate in Calistoga. The winery also owns a substantial amount of acreage in the Carneros AVA. Greek Mythology and viticulture are blended in the handsome tasting room and cellars. Founder Jan Shrem made his fortune in Japan’s bustling publishing industry. In a dramatic career change, he enrolled in Bordeaux University, intending to learn about the various aspects of the winemaking process.
After Shrem graduated, he moved back to America and bought a 50 acre piece of land just south of Calistoga. He has since acquired over 400 acres of prime vineyard land throughout the Napa Valley.
The soils that make up the source vineyard of the Clos Pegase 1999 Graveyard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon are more reminiscent of Oakville-Rutherford. Loamy, deep, and well-drained, they produce a phenomenal, albeit isolated Carneros Cabernet Sauvignon. Try this wine and I guarantee you will look at Carneros differently.
Shrem’s 2001 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is a very nice wine with a complex bouquet and intricate flavors. It is an age-worthy vintage that also drinks well young. Properly stored, it will continue to develop and soften.
The 2002 Mitsukos Vineyard Chardonnay is made with crisp Chardonnay grapes. It is a very good value for being a vineyard-designated wine and pairs nicely with food. The 2002 Mitsuko’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (screw cap) is a very refreshing wine for a hot day. The winery uses a screw top to retain this Sauvignon Blanc’s fresh flavors as well as to prevent cork taint.
This development reflects a trend in high-quality wineries attempting to avoid cork taint in their wines. The main culprit of these contaminations is Trichloroanisole, (TCA) which gives “corked” wines an unpleasant nose and flavor profile. Some have estimated that as much as 10% of the wines using natural corks are contaminated with TCA to some degree.