It is a story told several times over, in the valley, where someone comes to Napa without any experience and many years later is considered a leader in his or her respective part of the wine industry. Such is the case with Salvador. He started his own vineyard management company in 1987 and his son Oscar took over the day to day management in 1993. Today they are among the largest vineyard management companies in Napa Valley and as a result have many fine pieces of real estate to source their grapes from. Some of the vineyards they source from were originally planted by Salvador and today yield very low quantities of intensely flavored grapes. Their first vintage of wine was in 1997.Also of note is their caves are located in the hills of the southern most part of the Mt. Veeder Appellation in the Mayacamas mountain range. We recently had a chance to see these caves; this is in a relatively undeveloped vineyard part of Napa just north of the Carneros region. Only one other winery is in this area. Upcoming plans call for the construction of an actual winery building.
Renteria focuses on two varietals, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Only one other winery we have visited during our Napa odyssey focuses on the same two varietals and they are Dovetail Vineyards.
As of press time Renteria makes two Pinot Noirs – one from the Russian River area in neighboring Sonoma County and the other from the Napa side of the Carneros district. We tried the 2004 Carneros Knittel Vineyard. This has great Carneros fruit flavors including lots of strawberry (also in the bouquet). Let this wine sit for a while before serving as it needs time to open up, the mid palate is velvety which helps balance out the stronger tannins on the finish. Overall, this is a well balanced wine.
Several Cabernets are represented including hillside grown fruit from Mt. Veeder and Stag’s Leap. Also of note is Renteria has two other labels: Salva Tierra which means “salt of the earth”, which is Oscar’s wife’s maiden name and Tres Perlas, named after their children (Magnum versions only). The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Salva Tierra is a rich wine with soft tannins that is definitely ready to drink now. Renteria’s prices are typically quite reasonably by Napa standards.
1106 Clark Street, Napa
Open to Public: Private
Regular Tours: No