At the inaugural Wine Speak, seven Cabernet Sauvignon winemakers—from Napa Valley, Columbia Valley, Victoria (Australia), Happy Canyon, Paso Robles and Ballard Canyon—came to share their insight into what this global grape variety can be. We now continue the sharing and discussions with four new experts who will help us explore the distinctions of Cabernet Sauvignons grown in different regions and made in different styles.
Fred Dame, MS, DAOU Vineyards and Winery - Paso Robles
Fred has been hailed as “America’s sommelier” and is undoubtedly one of the most renowned in the world. Dame was the first to successfully pass all three parts of the Master Sommelier Examination in a single year. It was Fred, working with the National Restaurant Association, who convinced the British to bring the examination to the United States. He then founded the American Branch of The Court of Master Sommeliers in 1986 and has played an active role in the expansion of the Master Sommelier program since that time. Fred’s ability to transmit his passionate interest in wine makes him a natural teacher and a legendary ambassador. He now brings his talents to DAOU Vineyards and Winery where he will help usher the winery and the Paso Robles region to more prominence on the world wine stage.
Helen Keplinger, Carte Blanche & Keplinger Wines – Napa Valley
Helen worked with wine legends such as consultant Michel Rolland, viticulturist David Abreu and winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett, and made wine at Bryant Family Vineyard before focusing on her own label. She was named “Winemaker of The Year” by Food & Wine Magazine and was featured on the cover of Wine Spectator Magazine. She also consults for other wineries such as Napa Valley’s Carte Blanche. Helen will share her experience of creating some of California’s most coveted Cabernets.
Fred Scherrer, Scherrer Wines – Alexander Valley
The Scherrer Vineyard is located on a bench in the Alexander Valley that is composed of gravelly clay loam soils. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted here in 1990 are the sole source for the estate bottling. Being a noted Pinot Noir and Zinfandel specialist, Fred has a distinct take on what Cabernet Sauvignon can be. Fred will share how his gentle, nurturing touch results from many years of working with Pinot Noir, and how it shapes his other wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon.
Eric Jensen, Booker & My Favorite Neighbor – Paso Robles
Eric’s breathtaking Booker estate unfolds along a mix of calcareous / siliceous soil in the rolling hillsides of Paso Robles. In addition to growing and crafting a highly acclaimed portfolio of standout red Rhône variety blends—which are quite lavish, dense and flamboyant—Eric is now also part of the Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon revolution. Eric will be sharing one of his standouts and telling stories of how it came to be.