“I can still recall the perfume of leather, a mink coat, tobacco, subtle spices, dried red fruits, and that long, delicious silk-satin finish.” —Chris Howell
Wine can be about beauty.
Think about the first Cain wine you tasted or heard about. For many, it was the Cain Five, which we have been making since 1985. For others, it was the Cain Concept, which can be found in many restaurants. For still others, their first encounter with Cain was a taste of our Cain Cuvée. We know this, because people tell us.
Imagine this scenario: the phone rings in the winery at 7:00 p.m. or even 8:00 p.m.—sometimes I answer. At the other end of the line is someone calling from Cleveland (where it is now almost 11:00 p.m.), or from the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, just to tell us that they are having a glass of Cain Cuvée with their dinner and that it is amazing. They never imagined that a wine could be so ______ (smooth, complex, long finish)—fill in the blank. These are true stories.
Many of us have had a wine epiphany moment, that instant when our senses were fully awakened by a wine. We are taken almost by surprise—it was unexpected, yet in that moment, as if enclosed in some kind of magical bubble, we are conscious of the wine, its bouquet, its taste, and our sensations—and almost nothing else.
My wine epiphany came more than thirty years ago. It was a well-aged bottle of red Burgundy, a 1964 Clos des Lambrays from Morey St. Denis. I can still recall the perfume of leather, a mink coat, tobacco, subtle spices, dried red fruits, and that long, delicious silk-satin finish. And so, eventually, I found my way to France to learn about winegrowing. Who could know where that path would lead?
Closing the loop, it has been more than gratifying to learn that for some, their wine epiphany came with a bottle of wine from Cain. Sometimes it was a Cain Five from the very first vintages: 1985, 1986, or 1987. More recently, it has been a wine that I made (with the help of my team), maybe a Cain Five from the 1990s, or even a Cain Concept from the early 2000s.
To the Cain Five lovers among you, it might come as a surprise, but for some people, their wine epiphany came with a bottle of our Cain Cuvée.
—Christopher Howell, Wine Grower
Copyright, Cain Vineyard & Winery 2015