Known For: Top flight Napa Valley Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as blends based on both grapes.
Winemaker: Kirk Venge
Nils Venge is certainly one of the busiest winemakers and vineyard consultants in Napa Valley. When you have a consistent history of 90+ point Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon dating back to the 1980's and when you burst onto the worldwide wine stage with a 100 point bottle (according to Robert Parker, it is to be expected that your winemaking talent would be not only well know, but would create quite a bit of demand. Venge was winemaker at Groth Vineyards and Winery for his perfect score bottle and has had a long run of success at Saddleback Cellars, which is his own winery.
JR Wines is owned by John Ramsey who has known Nils Venge for some time and upon starting his own winery, asked Venge for a recomendation for a winemaker who could lead the winery for decades to come. As is the case, winemakers are either trained at a select few Universities around the world (UC Davis being at the forefront of the United States) or learn by experience from parents in the industry. Niles Venges' son Kirk had the best of both worlds and took the winemaking job at JR Wines.
For our wine clubs we couldn't resist trying wines from Kirk and have been happy to feature his wines on a few separate occasions. His results at JR Wines speak for themselves:
The Devious Woman 2008: 92pts Parker, 169 cases. The closest to a dessert wine we've found. The perfect Zinfandel to pair with chocolate and to serve at the end of the evening.
Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2007: 94pts Parker, 115 cases. Just sensational and a perfect example of what is possible with the new property. We think this will continue to be one of the top Napa Valley Cabernet's for years to come.