In 1985, French entrepreneur and philanthropist Jean Leducq began acquiring small parcels of vineyard land in Napa Valley’s acclaimed St. Helena appellation. A dedicated vintner and wine lover, his goal was to found a contiguous Napa Valley estate—in the classic French style—capable of producing wines with the power, grace and sophistication of the great Bordeaux houses. To this end, Jean Leducq worked with renowned enologist, Jacques Boissenot, to select land with the natural diversity necessary to produce fruit capable of creating complex, layered wines. The land they chose possessed a rich winegrowing tradition dating all the way back to the mid-1800s, and had once been home to the historic vineyard of Bernard Ehlers.
By 2001, Jean Leducq had joined the original 14-acre Ehlers Estate property with contiguous vineyard parcels to create a 43.8-acre estate. At the heart of this estate is the historic stone winery built by Bernard Ehlers in 1886. As a tribute to the site’s long winemaking history, Jean Leducq and his wife Sylviane revived the original Ehlers Estate name beginning with the winery’s inaugural 2000 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. The following year, Ehlers Estate produced its first Merlot, and with the 2002 vintage, the winery added its flagship, estate-grown 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon bottling to its portfolio of handcrafted Bordeaux-varietal wines.
But 2002 also marked the passing of Jean Leducq. A committed philanthropist, Jean left Ehlers Estate in trust to the non-profit Leducq Foundation that he and Sylviane had founded in 1996. This visionary union of estate winery and philanthropic foundation has defined Ehlers Estate ever since, giving the winery a unique sense of purpose and mission that combines the pursuit of excellence with a sense of social responsibility. This mission has also brought together and inspired an exceptional team of experienced professionals who take pride in their work—making great wines while making a difference.
In keeping with the winery’s marriage of quality and conscience, Ehlers Estate is at the forefront of environmentally aware farming practices. Guided by winemaker and vineyard manager Kevin Morrisey, the Ehlers Estate viticulture program embraced organic farming in 2004, and adopted biodynamic farming practices in early 2005. These hands-on methods help to preserve the purity and character of the estate’s mosaic of 25 vineyard blocks, each of which are individually fermented and aged. Beginning with the 2005 red wine vintage and the 2007 white wine vintage, all Ehlers Estate wines have been crafted exclusively from this stellar palette of estate-grown grapes.
Ehlers Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2005
Driven by intense, dark fruit, our 2006 cabernet sauvignon displays decadent aromas of blackberry, dark cherry, and mocha, with subtle, supporting accents of tobacco and nutmeg. A full body and fine, velvety tannins round out this elegant yet approachable cabernet.length to this wine’s delicious Kirsch, blackberry liqueur and chocolate flavors. Finally, crisp, wet tannins from the unusually intense Petit Verdot bring the wine to a clean finish with cassis and espresso notes.
Ehlers Estate Merlot Napa Valley 2005
The 2006 merlot leads with enticing aromas of black cherry, spice, brown sugar, mint and vanilla. On the palate, the wine’s plush, silky texture and fine tannins carry flavors of caramel, cola, pepper, and red apple skin. The overall impression is one of richness and balance.