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Have You Tried Eponymous?

by David on October 23, 2006

Have you tried Eponymous? Wow! Had it for the first time at a staff tasting a few months ago, and enjoyed it again last night, thanks to Colleen and David (my managers and the owners of Goosecross).

I can’t resist giving a plug to our good friend, Bob Pepi, who makes this marvelous wine.

Bob Pepi

Of course, I wouldn’t bother you with this unless there was a good story (and a good wine) behind it. In this case the “it” is in the name.

First of all, how do we know Bob? You might know Bob or know of him through Robert Pepi Winery. He and his father made wine there together until it was sold to Kendall-Jackson in 1994. In 1996 Bob began a consulting business and he consults for wineries all over the world, including Goosecross. Why do we need a consultant? We’re a small operation and our Winemaker, Geoff Gorsuch, is a one-man band, managing both the vineyards and the winery. It’s not smart to work in a vacuum. There’s a very real danger of developing tunnel vision or, horror-of-horrors, a house palate! So, Bob and his partner, Jeff Booth, are available as additional very-experienced intellects, points of view, noses and palates when the weather’s quirky during harvest (as it inevitably is), for early pressing vs. extended maceration choices, blending decisions, you name it.

Even with a busy consulting business, Bob manages to make one wine of his own: Cabernet Sauvignon. I think we can all agree that if Napa Valley was only permitted to make one wine, the choice is ridiculously obvious. This is one of the best places on the planet for the variety. Bob found a vineyard on the south-east side of the valley – a steep, rocky site with very poor soil that produces some pretty wonderful stuff. Full, rich, black fruit with a healthy dose of earthy minerality. It’s almost like those poor, starving vines pulled the character right out of the ground. Great, mouth-filling texture!

Now, what about the name? Think how many eponymous wineries you can name off the top of your head: Gallo, Duckhorn, Shafer, Dunn. Well, with the sale of the Robert Pepi brand to KJ, Bob can no longer use his own name. So, in place of releasing an eponymous wine, he whimsically names the wine, itself, Eponymous as a play on words by one who is unable to use his family name on his own bottle of wine…

Anyway, if you’re lucky enough to find some, give it a try! You taste a wine like that and you know it’s good to have someone like Bob on your team!

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