Experience Trail 3150 Single Vineyard Red 2018
Blend: 34% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Malbec
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Experience is the dream of Catherine and Travis Vale. Travis was born and raised in the Russian River Valley of California’s Sonoma Coast. He first worked a harvest in 1998, falling in love with the sights and sounds of a working winery. The daughter of a master brewer, Catherine was born and raised in London.
The two met in 2001 while both were traveling in New Zealand. Travis was furthering his education in the cooler climate growing regions of Marlborough. Catherine was finishing up a six-month tour of Southeast Asia and Australia. The tour bus they shared was aptly named the Kiwi Experience New Zealand. “That chance meeting far from our homes was a turning point in our lives,” says Catherine.
In 2010, they purchased an 8-acre vineyard estate in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, now the source of Trail 3150 Red Wine Blend, and launched a new wine brand.
Naming the fledgling wine Experience seemed a perfect fit.
As one of Napa’s coolest sub-appellations, the area begs for diversity among its vineyards. Merlot and Chardonnay firmly compete with Cabernet Sauvignon for a place here. Some of Napa’s best Zinfandels also come from the Oak Knoll District.
Situated far in Napa’s southern end, Oak Knoll receives a strong cooling influence from both the San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Coast’s evening fog and breezes. Summer days are warm but on average ten degrees cooler than in St. Helena farther north up the valley; summer nights are chilly. A long growing season promotes for leisurely ripening of grape berries, resulting in an impressive balance of sugars, phenols and acidity.
Notable producers include Trefethen, one of the appellation’s oldest wineries, Robert Biale, legendary Zinfandel producer and Lewis Cellars, a family-run, hands-on establishment.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.