Spring Mountain Vineyard
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Wine Spectator "Must See" DWWA 2013 Regional Trophy for 2010 Elivette

Open That Bottle Night: Winning Entries

Sharing experiences of drinking Spring Mountain Vineyard wines

Winner of a magnum of 2002 Elivette


From John Juergens of Oxford, Mississippi

It was a crisp, clear evening in the middle of November, 2001, and an intimate group of wine-loving friends gathered to enjoy the night on the top of small hill in a Mississippi hay field to marvel at the vivid and intense Leonid meteor showers.  Each had their significant other with them, and they cuddled up on a variety of lounge chairs and quilts in the brisk fall air. But I was alone because my fiancee was in Texas at a conference.  It was the one-year anniversary of our first date, at which we shared a fabulous bottle of Spring Mountain Cabernet with our first dinner.  Since we couldn't be together on that night, we stayed connected in spirit on our mobile phones for several hours, she on a hotel rooftop in Texas and me in a hay field in Mississippi.  We both sipped on the same Spring Mountain Cabernet we had the year before, celebrating our first year together while sharing the warmth of each other's voice and the marvel of the same meteor shower.



5 Winners of a bottle of 2002 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon


From Jennifer Heath of Concord, California

As I sit here drinking a nice glass of the 1999 Reserve Cabernet, I am remembering a funny story. On December 21st, 2006, my boyfriend Scott proposed to me at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, California.  Little did I know, he had packed a 1987 Spring Mountain Cabernet  that we had been drooling over, hiding from our friends and waiting for the right night to drink it….alone…...  This was certainly the right night to open that bottle! 
We took it to dinner and the waiter was very impressed with our wine.  We raved about the wines produced by Spring Mountain and couldn't wait for him to decant it.  After letting it breathe and enjoying its dark ruby color, we finally had a toast. All we could say was “Wow”.  I didn't even want dinner! I just wanted to savor every sip.    I was so happy that we were alone and could have the wine all to ourselves.  We did however, decide to offer a sip to our waiter, and to our surprise, he poured himself a glass!  All I could see was our wine going…going…gone….. Because it was such a special night, I couldn't get upset.  But I did decide that those rare, special bottles that you save for an occasion need to be drunk in a dark closet with nobody around or with friends....not with the waiter! 

From Jacob Jata of Port Richey, Florida

My Wine Epiphany

I am often asked how I became so immersed in wine.  Ask any wine lover what it was that first turned them on to it.  They all will give you the same basic answer.  Everyone can trace their affection for wine back to one experience, one epiphany, one moment of clarity, where the atmosphere, company, food & WINE worked together in unison to sing the most beautiful song one’s senses could endure.  As I write this, my salivary glands are reminding me how vividly I can remember it.

I was working at a fine-dining restaurant near Boston, where I eventually became the Assistant Wine Director.  A couple that I wasn’t familiar with came in, sat at the bar and proceeded to order our most expensive bottle on the list, the Spring Mountain Reserve 1999.  They were totally blown away and were so generous as to offer me a taste.  It was with very little difficultly that I acquiesced.

The rich flavors & supple texture emanated from the glass before I even nosed it.  No intuition was necessary to deduce the explosion my palate experienced.  From that day of revelation on, I have become a self proclaimed oenophile.  Thank You SMV!

From N. Kellermueller of Sewickley, Pennsylvania

I first experienced Spring Mountain wine in 1999, it was love at first sip. I received the '95 cabernet as a gift. The numbered label hinted that I was in for a treat. What I didn't know was that this introduction would begin an enduring relationship.  Compelled to visit the creator of such a heavenly nectar, I scheduled a tasting for my boyfriend and me. It was a glorious day, a fragrant wave of lavender greeted us as we walked toward the beautiful home that would house the tasting . We were guided to a beautiful dining room to begin our private tasting. As the history of the property, the vineyard and the region was explained to us, we sipped outstanding wines at the dining table. I was introduced to a luscious white, a decadent Syrah and the piece de resistance, "Elivette" (called so as a meritage of the owner’s parent’s names). Given the exclusive quality of the  wines we tasted, it seemed incongruous that we were welcomed so warmly. I recall the experience more like an intimate dinner with a close, old friend.

Boyfriends come and go, but Spring Mountain Vineyard and I are going on our ninth year.

From Mort and Alicia Maizlish of Santa Barbara, California

The current Spring Mountain releases are consistently excellent, but the 1970s and 1980s vintages, with the classic Parrott House label, are the most dear to our hearts.  They bring back the days when our four children were small, money was tight, and an $18 wine was something that required careful budgeting for a birthday or anniversary--savored slowly with care, and remembered longingly until the next occasion.  In 2005 Alicia and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.  For a dinner with ten family members we chose Valentino in Santa Monica.  It is a wonderful restaurant with an encyclopedic wine list and classic, un-pressured service.  When I called for reservations, I asked if they could serve us the 1996 Spring Mountain cabernet, which we had enjoyed there in the past and which they offered at $60, a mark-up that was barely over retail. The gentleman offered to check the cellar, and called me back with an apology a few minutes later.  "I'm very sorry, Sir.  We are out of the 1996 Spring Mountain, and it is no longer available.  All I can offer you is a magnum of the 1979 Spring Mountain at $130.  Would that be acceptable?"The 1979 was the first “old label” Spring Mountain that we had seen in nearly 15 years.  At age 26 it was vibrant, alive, full and rich, and could have gone on happily for as long again.  It was the centerpiece of a joyous occasion and a fitting metaphor for a great marriage.  Since then we have been gradually assembling a collection of the old vintages, and have tasted most of the releases from 1975 to 1989.  Each opening is a special occasion, and not one bottle seems to have passed its “peak.”  The 1978 and 1987 vintages are particular favorites.  It is gratifying to know that these wines, which we could not afford when they were young, have been stored away somewhere, maturing and improving, waiting for us to find and enjoy them.  As we drink them, we replace them with equal numbers of the 1990s and 2000s vintages, which we plan to enjoy for many years after our 50th anniversary.

From Evelyn Williams of Reston, Virginia

By August 1999, we had been dating exclusively for three years.  I took Robert to a Bed & Breakfast in Luray, Virginia, for a weekend celebration.  My beau brought delicious Spring Mountain Cabernet.  We savored two entire bottles in one evening and fell asleep after lengthy conversation.  In the morning, when I awoke, the sun was shining brightly in our room.  I noticed sparkling light dancing on the wall near me that was created by something in the room.  I glanced around and could not see what causing the sun’s rays to reflect on the wall.  Robert was still asleep.  I climbed out of bed and noticed a sparkling light dancing on a different wall.  At that moment, I realized that the reflection of light was coming from me!  I looked down on my left hand and saw the most beautiful and elegant diamond engagement ring in the world!  We were married in Luray on November 11, 2000 and, while sipping our SMV Cabernet, we still reminisce about the morning when I awoke to the s parkling light dancing on the walls.  We are forever in love with two beautiful children.  Thank you, SMV, for one of our best memories ever!