June 16, 2020 | Ralph Sands
You can call her the flying winemaker or the queen of the cult wines, but wherever you go anywhere in the world of wine, everyone knows the name of Heidi Barrett as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.
So far in her great career, and she still has a long way to go if she chooses, Heidi has made five- 100 point wines. Two at Dalla Valle with the “Maya” 1992 and 1993, Screaming Eagle in 1992 and 1997 and Grace Family in 1997.
Heidi likes to take the expression of the vineyard and get that expression into the bottle; her wines are big and rich but never over extracted and are always perfectly balanced.
Heidi’s Amuse Bouche is truly a California cult wine of small production from her vineyards in the hillsides east of Rutherford. Heidi consults at a long list of very fine wineries; two that are absolute favorites of mine and not crazy expensive, which is nice!
Paradigm Winery in Oakville is made from valley floor fruit and is a delicious wine. She also makes the wine at our beloved Lamborn Family Vineyards located 1600 feet above the valley floor and yes, she sometimes fly’s her helicopter up the mountain to do her work there. There is no taking the mountain out of the Lamborn wine! It is always a big, strong, masculine Cabernet with deep, dark, concentrated fruit, lively acid and freshness. The wine is not for the weak or timid, but Heidi always seems to find the perfect balance between the power and the tannins, imparting her charm and elegant vein. She is a super talent, and her wines and her legacy will live on for centuries in California wine history.