Second vintage for this tiny Napa winery owned/made by two families (see below for details). The grapes are from David & Christine Wilson’s family vineyard, “Rancho Chimiles,” Wooden Valley, southeast Napa’s Valley. A popular grape to grow in Napa in the 20th century, this 2 acre plot of Valdiguie is some of the last standing in Napa. 45 year old vines. Comparable to Pinot Noir in body and texture but with a more wild berry/cherry, coriander and herbal tea flavor. This has a jump-from-the-glass nose of cranberry sauce, plum jam and tea. Taste raspberries, more plums, pomegranate and Asian spice. Medium bodied, bright, juicy and mucho friendly with foods ranging from tomato sauces to lamb loin.
Wilson Foreigner is a two-family-owned winery. David & Christine Wilson live on their family vineyard in Napa’s Wooden Valley. Chris and Suzaan Alheit live and work in South Africa (They are the Foreigner. Sorry, but no homage to the ’80s rock band. Read about their partnership here.) The winery makes three wines. Just one, currently, comes from the Wilson family vineyard, “Rancho Chimiles.” They follow the “New California Wine” model of unique grapes, mindful vineyard practices and non-intervention winemaking. All of which lead to wines that are intense, energetic and decidedly unique. All that and very fairly priced, too. Get some.
From Mary Orlin, The WineFashionista:
“The inky, red velvet color belies the lighter bodied wine in the glass. The first whiff is all cranberry and spice. Then, as you sip, tart, tart cranberries fill your mouth along with juicy plummy fruit. Then there’s the earthy note that makes this the perfect fall wine.
“Wilson Foreigner’s 2016 Rancho Chimiles Valdiguié ($32) is a delightful change from your go-to Pinot Noir. There’s a black tea astringency and tart red fruit acidity that makes this such a food friendly wine. You’ll want to put this Valdiguié front and center on your table with coconut milk-marinated grilled pork loin or any other meat dishes with a sweet sauce. Think sweet and sour pork or chicken, and other spicy Asian dishes. I’d even have this with teriyaki-glazed roast salmon. The wine’s zippy acidity and tartness perfectly cuts through sweet and fatty dishes.
“The label is a collaboration between a husband and wife team in Napa and one in South Africa. The grapes are sourced from one of the four — David Wilson’s family vineyard, Rancho Chimiles, in Napa Valley. This 45-acre plot is one of the last surviving Valdiguié vineyards in the valley, which once boasted many more Valdiguié vines. You’ll find Valdiguié growing in southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region.”