Olabisi Napa Valley “Proprietary Red” 2017

Included in: Red Club – September 2020


Regularly $45. Club member re-order: $38

Ted Osborne and his wife Kim founded Olabisi Wines in 2002. Ted is from that ambitious generation of winemakers in Napa Valley who worked their way up to owning their own winery with a lot of hard work and sleepless nights. He is also completely self-taught, entering the industry with a degree in English but no formal wine training.

Ted first came to the valley when Kim took a job designing wine labels. After living in Napa for six months, he was still unemployed and so decided he wanted to change career paths and move into the wine industry. The problem was he didn’t know who to call. So, during harvest in 1995, while flipping randomly through a book highlighting wineries of Napa Valley, he randomly called Cakebread. To his surprise, he was immediately connected to winemaker Bruce Cakebread who hired him the very next day. Sometimes timing is everything, and for Ted, this was his way in.

Ted spent the next four years bouncing back and forth between Napa and wineries in North and South America, Australia and France to maximize his experience in the shortest amount of time. During that time, he worked for Cakebread, Rupert & Rothschild, Passing Clouds, Chateau du Seuil, Storybook Mountain and Laird.

In 2002, while working as Assistant Winemaker at Storybook Mountain, Olabisi was born. Kim created the labels and he created the wine. They wanted a brand that was unique and not just their last name. They decided on “Olabisi,” which is a Nigerian name meaning “joy multiplied” – a sentiment he believes is present in all his wines.

This 2017 Proprietary Red Wine is a complex blend of Merlot, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll find unique aromas of grape cola, roasted herbs, black pepper, candied walnuts, honey, candied apples, cherry cheesecake, and thai tea ice-cream. The palate is pure with upfront flavors of velvet chocolate cake, juicy strawberry, tangy and quenching, with a rich long finish.

A wine this complex deserves a meal to match, something light and rich all at the same time. So may I recommend the following: fried pork medallions with creamy Gorgonzola sauce and grilled pears. Light meat, rich sauce, and tangy sweet pears, consider all your delicious pairing bases covered.

Michelle Michelbook – September 2020

p.s. Cyndi and I discovered Olabisi a couple years ago while visiting Calistoga and have been big fans ever since. It’s just the kind of small, family-owned winery we like. If you find yourself in Calistoga, stop into their tasting room on Washington Street and tell them we sent you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: