What do you get when you cross a couple of Major League ballplayers, some exquisite Rutherford juice, and a rock star winemaker? Two Old Dogs, apparently.
The Featured Wine of Episode 92: Pairs With Two Old Dogs Sauvignon Blanc and Wine vs. Weed Growers
This one’s for everyone who craves that jolt of pure, luminous, tantalizingly tropical crispness…and wine pedigree as well. In this case, you get the pedigree two-fold from the gorgeous Rutherford, Napa Valley fruit, and winemaking from the supremely talented and indisputably revered Julian Fayard.
Two Old Dogs, a small label under JACK, descended from the legacy of Herb Lamb Vineyards. The owners of JACK, two MLB players, cut a deal with Jennifer Lamb and took the label over, bringing Fayard in as the winemaker. The French-born winemaker extraordinaire apparently learned a thing or two at First Growth Lafite Rothschild, and Smith Haut Lafitte before arriving stateside to set a 100-point standard at places like Melka, Quintessa, Realm, and Caspar Estate, to name a few.
Wine Spectator publicized JACK’s inaugural release with fanfare and hefty scores, writing, There’s a new All-Star in Napa Valley. Former Toronto Blue Jays, L.A. Angels and New York Yankees outfielder Vernon Wells has teamed with Seattle Mariners catcher Chris Iannetta to create Jack Winery. Iannetta, whose grandparents made wine in their Rhode Island home, says the project is an exploration of his family’s Italian winemaking roots.”
This SB manages to straddle the line between old world (Sancerre?) style and Napa style. Maybe it’s the combination of Sauvignon Blanc from Rutherford with a small percentage of Sauvignon Musqué sourced from Yountville? The result is extraordinary. White flowers, stony minerality, and all manner of tropical fruit: guava, passionfruit, and cantaloupe. And tons of lemons. Meyer to meringue pie, pith to curd, all the lemon. Slightly creamy on the palate, with moderate acidity.
Two Dogs Tasting Profile
Look: Bright pale white gold with hay accents, and sheer luminescence
Smell: White flowers, stony minerality, guava, passionfruit, cantaloupe, and lemons galore
Taste: Slightly creamy on the palate, with moderate acidity, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, tangerine peel, Buddha’s hand
Finish: A Pouilly-Fume personality and persistence, the juiciness and crispness here are through the roof
WINEMAKER: Julien Fayard
VARIETALS: 88% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Sauvignon Musqué
VINEYARDS: Sangiacomo & Durell Vineyards
HARVEST DATE: September 7, 2016
BRIX AT HARVEST: 23.4°
TOTAL ACIDITY: 6.8 g/L
BOTTLING July 17, 2017
AGING: 8 months
VESSELS: 100% stainless steel
About the JACK Winery
Fittingly, it was a wine-fueled conversation during a dinner in 2012 that led Chris and Vernon to float the idea of creating their very own label. Major League teammates and fathers of two, they shared not only a passion for wine but a passion for family as well. After their first four vintages of JACK Wines, Chris Iannetta and Vernon Wells made the decision to expand their wine portfolio by adding Two Old Dogs, through a partnership with a friend and well-respected vintner, Jennifer Lamb.
“For me, Two Old Dogs captures the journey of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon through the lens of a legacy brand rooted in friendship and a shared belief that wine can be both affordable and delicious” – Julien Fayard, Winemaker
With more than two decades of winemaking expertise, Julien Fayard is one of Napa Valley’s most respected winemakers, producing California varietals with French finesse. He believes in producing wines with identity, exploiting what makes each one unique. Julien’s wines are a pure expression of their terroir, highlighting the specificities and characteristics of the fruit, vineyard management, soil, and climate. Furthermore, he has a track record of building brands both in terms of quality and market presence.
Originally from France, Julien began his career as a winemaker producing quality rosé at his family’s winery in Provence. In Bordeaux he worked at Lafite Rothschild and Smith Haut Laffite before relocating to Napa Valley. In Napa, he was Philippe Melka’s director of winemaking for a few years before launching his own projects. Julien earned his Master in Agri-Business from ESA France and his Master in Winemaking from Toulouse France. In 2011, he received his MBA from UC Davis.