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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The O'SHAUGHNESSY Wine Journey




Amanda Schark , an extremely knowledgeable and agreeable wine representative who works for Charles River Wines alerted me that she would be pouring some special wines
at Spirited Wines (Lenox, Ma) at their weekly, complimentary Saturday tasting.
I told Amanda that I have heard about O’Shaughnessy wines from peers, but, have not had the opportunity to sample any of their well known Cabernet Sauvignon blends.
The reality is simple.
The O’Shaughnessy Winery sells out of most vintages and rarely needs to promote their wines. Due to a loyal customer base, which includes high-end restaurants and collectors, few wine shops carry a large variety of O’Shaughnessy wines.
They are collectables.
After sampling a 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, with Amanda, I can easily understand why the world has gone wild for the entire O’Shaughnessy portfolio.
I wanted more.
Amanda said that Luke Russ, O’Shaughnessy’s worldwide sales and brand manager would pour other vintages at the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival. That put a big smile on my face, as I attend the festival yearly (see my past Berkshire Beacon articles).
Fast forward to the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival.
I meet Luke Russ and explained that my mission since sampling the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, with Amanda, was to sample every vintage that has been in existence.
Luke explained the history of O’Shaughnessy to me.
He said that Betty O’Shaughnessy, originally from Minneapolis, was a cooking  professional with a passion for wine. Betty somehow landed in Oakville (Ca), fell in love with the land, bought a home with a vineyard and started her Napa wine career in 1990. As time passed, Betty acquired more land (Howell Mountain and Mount Vedeer) so she could produce a variety of grapes that would lead her to her goal, which was to produce a world-class mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.
O’Shaughnessy Winery was now a reality.
A cave, a wine facility and a large enough variety of grapes to work was met with approval by O’Shaughnessy’s first and only winemaker, Sean Capiaux.
Luke asked me if I wanted to meet Betty O’Shaughnessy and Sean Capiaux and taste all of the vintages (2001-2010) that O’Shaughnessy has produced.
I answered with a positive ‘Yes, that is my California wine dream’.
Luke said that he would make it a reality.
But, not today.
Luke was planning an ‘O’Shaughnessy Winery Thank You Tour’ that would feature every vintage that has been released.
Both Betty O’Shaughnessy and winemaker Sean Capiaux would lead the selected ‘chosen’ attendees on a vertical tasting. The attendees would be the retail stores staff and owners who have supported their wines throughout the years.
Luke mapped out the plan and said that he will see me in December.
I received my invite to attend the vertical tasting at ‘Corkbuzz’ in Manhattan.
The months passed slowly and the day finally approached.
I was the first guest to walk into Corkbuzz and was immediately greeted with a glass of sparkling wine. It was eleven in the morning and I was drinking sparkling wine?
It was a tease.
All I wanted was O’Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon.
After eating a few appetizers that paired perfectly with the bubbly, the real ‘O’Shaughnessy Thank You Wine Tour’ began.
Luke introduced Betty O’Shaughnessy who, after a wonderful historical speech about O’Shaughnessy  introduced Sean Capiaux. Sean, the esteemed winemaker, led us (less than 15 participants) into oblivion by walking us through the vertical Cabernet Sauvignon vintages from 2001 to 2010.
To comment on near perfection from new vines is impossible.
Taste any vintage of O’Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon and your California wine dream will begin, like mine did.
And it will never end!
\
PHILIP S. KAMPE






2 comments:

Joseph C. said...

I am searching the web for their wine.

Anonymous said...

Joseph: Do yourself a favor and take the time to find these wines. The Cabernets are out of this world! AMAZING! Everyone has a different palate....so what appeals to me may not appeal to you. That being said....O'Shaughnessy is my favorite wine in the world. It's simply beautiful! Enjoy!