Frank Husic has had some astonishingly good luck and some astonishingly bad luck. The good luck is that he has nine acres of prime Stags Leap appellation vineyards which produces 500 cases of one of the more highly sought-after California Cabernets currently on the market.
The bad news is that Frank owns 120 acres in the same area and he isn’t allowed to plant them to grape. It seems that those nine acres were planted before an anti-mountain growing ordinance went into affect, preventing the rest of the acreage from being developed. Frank is pretty philosophical about it all. “It isn’t going to hold us back from planting elsewhere — in fact, we’ll be releasing our first Chardonnay next year.” It is easy to be taken in by his enthusiasm. Having winemaker Celia Welch Masyczek crafting his wine doesn’t hurt either. Masyczek came into view when she created the now much sought-after 1998 Staglin.
The bottle is immediately recognizable as different. It is easily the tallest and heaviest bottle on the market. Substantial in size, Frank revels in pointing out the archway design with the names of his family crowning the artistic representation of his hillside vineyard. The two palm trees under the logo name actually exist on the property – a rather odd occurrence in the Napa Valley and one I am glad he represented.
Husic made insider news at the 2004 Premiere Napa Valley auction (an
event where barrel samples are tasted and purchased as futures by
high-roller retailers) when five cases of an un-released, unknown wine
was sold for $13,000. Bottom line? This is a winery to keep an eye on — could it be the next Screaming Eagle?
2002 Husic Cabernet Sauvignon – A mere hint of the earthy terroir of Stags Leap that I often find overwhelming. Some dusty earthy with a core of dark cassis and currant in the nose. Black raspberry and cinnamon hit the tongue first, but a cinnamon that is intensely soft and elegant, blossoming to show layers upon layers of dark brambleberry, blackberry, and dark plum. The finish shows velvety vanilla. Sold out – usually only available and finer restaurants.
Husic ~ Vineyard; 189 Ridge Drive ~ Napa Valley ~ CA ~ 94558; Office; 80 McLaren Avenue ~ San Francisco ~ CA ~ 94121 ~ 707-812-4909