Great wines to share with friends!

For most of us, an enthusiasm for fine wine hits in our thirties, while the notion of starting a winery may signal the onset of a mid-life crisis. But for Josh Phelps and Carlo Trinchero, the entrepreneurs behind the Taken Wine Company, founding a Napa winery soon after graduating from college seemed like the right thing to do. They say wine is in their DNA after growing up in St. Helena in winemaking families. Indeed, where they stand out from the norm may be in their confidence at reaching fellow millennials, who appear to prefer pale ale over Sauvignon Blanc. Josh and Carlo released their first vintage of Taken Red Wine, a blend of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, in 2010. But they have quickly grown from just 100 cases sold to friends to 12,000 in 2014 that are available in every US state - as well as here in Japan. While the Taken Red Wine Cabernet/Merlot continues to be their flagship product, they also produce “Complicated,” a Grenache/Syrah blend sourced from the Central Coast, as well as “Available,” a Sauvignon Blanc/Muscat designated as “California” but mainly from Mendocino County. The whimsical names derive partly from experience and partly from their goal to make wines that are fun and meant to be shared with friends. The story goes that while brainstorming for a name for the company, they found that all the good ones were “taken.” As for “Complicated” and “Available,” frequent users of social media (i.e. the younger, target demographic) should understand such “status updates.” Kidding aside, these wines are crafted for delicious drinking upon release. The affordable prices mean they are yours for the “taking!”

Wines from this Winery

2014 Taken

2014 Taken "Taken" Red Napa Valley

The young Napa Valley winemakers behind the Taken project have again produced a rich and opulent wine, layered with black fruit, chocolate, earthy notes and spice. They believe 2014 was perhaps the best growing season since they started in 2007, producing a wine of great concentration and body without being heavy or overripe. Sourced from vineyards around Oakville and Rutherford, the wine’s 60% Cabernet provided backbone and structure, while 40% Merlot added roundness and complexity to the midpalate. It is a youthful wine, however, with tannins and acidity that suggest great aging potential. But you may wish to try it soon before all are “taken!”

¥ 6,000