The steep Northeast facing slopes yield a cool-climate Cabernet Sauvignon beautifully atypical for Napa Valley.
Herb Lamb was a Napa Valley native who, aside from his college years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, spent his entire life in the valley. He graduated with a degree in soil science and opened Napa Valley Ag Supply in 1975. His thirty-five years in Ag Supply helped him to understand the valley’s soils and growers better than just about anyone around.
Herb and his wife Jennifer bought their Howell Mountain property in 1987 and planted a seven-acre vineyard a year later. The terraced blocks rise from 600 to 800 feet above the valley floor and produce Cabernet Sauvignon that “reiterates the aspect of Northeast exposure, the cool climate, the late afternoon shadows as opposed to direct afternoon sunlight,” Jennifer explains.
Jennifer offered us fruit from the same block Ann Colgin had used for fifteen years in her Colgin brand. Right in the middle of the vineyard, it’s the sweet spot where a gap in the trees lets late afternoon sun through. “I have been following Jeff Ames’ career for many years,” Jennifer says. “He was one of the first people to sign up for a bottle of our wine. I was thrilled to be able to offer him our fruit and have him take it with TOR in mind.”
“Herb was of the mind that less is more, so we’ve tried to manage the vineyard in the most sustainable way possible. I’m really proud of the fact that other people have made wine that lets this vineyard shine, referencing the site and the terroir.”
When Herb died in December of 2014, the whole valley mourned. He was a widely respected farmer and beloved character, one of the genuine good guys. In tribute to all he did for the valley and our community, it was our pleasure to label the 2014 TOR Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon “Homage to Herb Lamb.”