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Wine of the Day

2009 Tudal Tractor Shed Red

Tudal Winery is an old-timer compared to most Napa Valley wineries. Its start came in 1974 when Arnold Tudal and his wife Alma Tudal in bought the land. With viticultural advice from Napa legend Louis P. Martini, they planted Cabernet Sauvignon and were off and running.

Tudal still produces two Cabernet Sauvignons. One is an estate wine and one comes from the Clift Vineyard in Oak Knoll. There’s also a Cuvee which includes Zinfandel, Merlot and Sangiovese, a Pinot Noir from the Bacigalupi Vineyard in the Russian River Valley and a Maldonado Vineyard Chardonnay from Napa Valley.

Tudal has another brand, Cerruti Cellars, which produces five wines. They are the Honker Blanc Sauvignon Blanc, MerBlanc rosé of Merlot, Tractor Shed Red blend, Flat Bed Red Zinfandel, and another blend called Rag Top Red. Cerruti Cellars has a tasting room in Oakland’s Jack London Square. [Correction: This article initially implied that the winemaker for these wines was Kirk Venge. Venge had no involvement with the Cerruti blends. They were created by Ron Vuylsteke and Tom Eddy.]

As you might expect from the name, neither the Honker Blanc nor the Tractor Shed Red are pretentious wines. Tudal describes the latter as “a fun and enjoyable everyday wine from the Napa Valley.” I received both wines as review samples and found them to be well made and good values.

The 2009 Tractor Shed Red is a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Zinfandel. The aromas are friendly and attractive, principally coconut, black cherry, blackberry, oak and and drying leaves. The wine has medium-plus body, juicy acidity and drying but ripe tannins. Flavors echo the nose with cherry, oak, and blackberry as well as caramel and dark chocolate. The finish is satisfyingly long. Recommended.

My wine ratings are independent of price. I recommend based on quality, not value. That said, at $15, the Tractor Shed Red is a very good value and I’ve been intending to publish this review for a while. What brought me to do it today was a visit I made to the Novato Costco on Sunday. I noticed that they are selling this wine for $6.99. If $15 is a very good value...

If you haven’t already grabbed the car keys and headed to Novato, let me take a moment to recommend the 2010 Honker Blanc. It’s a clean and fresh Sauvignon Blanc with flavors driven by citrus and tropical fruits without the aggressive pungency and green notes of some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It retails for $14.

2009 Tudal Tractor Shed Red
tractorshedred-cropRating: Recommended

Drink: Now through 2015
Closure: Cork
Production: 5,000 cases
Retail Price: $15.00

Blend: 60% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, 20% Zinfandel
Origin: California
Alcohol: 14.5%


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This article is original to Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.