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WineSpeed with Karen MacNeil | Accendo Cellars

Veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil shares insights with subscribers in her weekly newsletter, WineSpeed. Read excerpts from this week’s edition below.

BY Karen Macneil | Life | Dec 26, 2016

ACCENDO CELLARS | CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013

(Napa Valley, California) $350 (750ml)

Bart and Daphne Araujo sold their prestigious Napa Valley winery Araujo to First Growth Château Latour in 2013. Accendo (pronounced ah-CHEN-doe) is their new venture, and this is the very first vintage of the cabernet. The wine is majestic. Simultaneously restrained and yet bursting with internal energy, it’s a racehorse stamping in wait for the gate to be flung open. The dark, woodsy aromas are intoxicating. The flavors—spicy, primordial andexotic—are vividly precise. The word Accendo means to kindle, illuminate, inflame and arouse. A must try—right?

Given the Araujos’ reputations, it’s no surprise that a waiting list is already in place. But identify yourself as a WineSpeed reader, and the winery will do its best to accommodate you.

KM 98 points

In Disney’s The Parent Trap (1998), vintner Nick Parker (played by Dennis Quaid) walks around his wine cellar with his ex-wife Elizabeth James (played by Natasha Richardson). While the two reminisce, he shows her some prized bottles from his collection. Which of the following bottles does he say he served at their wedding?

  • A.Burgundy from 1986
  • B.Bordeaux from 1986
  • C.A bottle labeled “When Dreams come true”
  • D.A bottle labeled “Where Dreams have no end”

Scroll down for the answer!


“In 2017, whiskey will be the new vodka and will no longer be just the man’s drink of choice. Women who usually drink Cosmos will start drinking Old Fashioneds and Manhattans…”

—Christine D’Orta, lead mixologist, Ninety Acres at Natirar, New Jersey

WHEN 1 + 1 DOESN’T EQUAL 2

Imagine two batches of chardonnay. One is fermented in oak and then aged in oak. The other is fermented in stainless steel and then aged in oak. You might expect that the wine receiving two doses of oak (during fermentation and aging) would have the most pronounced oak flavors and strongest impression of wood tannin. But the opposite is usually true. When a wine is fermented in oak, the yeasts also interact with the wood. When the spent yeast cells (lees) are ultimately removed from the wine, a measure of the wood flavor and tannin are removed with them.

D.In the movie, Nick and Elizabeth meet and get married during an ocean cruise in 1986. Eleven years later, while walking around Nick’s (rather-small-for-a-vintner) wine cellar, he shows Elizabeth a bottle of the wine that was served at their wedding, labeled “Where Dreams have no end.” In real life, this name was used by Italian wine producer Jermann who made a white wine from chardonnay grapes called “Where Dreams have no end” from 1987 to 1995, before changing the name to “W… Dreams… … …”

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