The Dude is crafted by Canepa Koch Wine Cellars, named after owners Mike Canepa and Neil Koch. We featured their red blend a few years ago and it was a huge hit. This selection is destined to follow.
Mark Canepa has spent 15 years in the wine business, most of that with one of the top barrel builders in France, Seguin Moreau. He spent hours studying and discussing how barrel construction and make-up can change a wine in different ways. In so doing, Mark became an expert in how wine interacts with oak barrels.
For 12 years, now, Neil Koch has been making wine with the likes of Seavey, Bryan Family and Vineyard 29. He was also assistant winemaker at Lewis Cellars. Neil has honed his craft by learning directly from top-drawer Napa Valley wineries.
Together, Mark and Neil probably make the absolute best wine for the price in Napa Valley. Okay, take out the word "probably." Each wine is a perfect example of the grape, the area, and the attention to detail that we wish all wines had.
The grapes for our selection were sourced from one of Napa's premier spots, Rutherford. They were picked earlier than most to keep the piquant, natural acids. But, instead of thrashing them in a crusher, the winemakers piled them into the tank and eventually the pressure of the grapes on top crushed the ones on bottom. This delicate maneuver preserves the Sauvignon Blanc grapes' lovely fruit component yet retains its snappy finish.