“To me, winemaking is the ultimate fusion of agriculture and art.”
- Mike Duffy, Owner & Winemaker
Optima is a small family run winery in Healdsburg, Sonoma, founded by winemaker Mike Duffy.
Mike has been making wine for over 40 years, since he was a teenager growing up in Oregon. First he made wine with whatever he could scavenge (blackberries, strawberries—even rose petals), but when he got his hands on vitis vinifera grapes, he realized that winemaking was going to be more than a hobby. Later, Mike studied Viticulture & Enology at UC Davis and eventually worked alongside Andre Tchelistcheff, one of America’s most influential post-prohibition winemakers, as he honed his craft.
In 1989 Mike discovered what he thought was the optimal spot for growing Cabernet Sauvignon: Alexander Valley. He bought some grapes and made the first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon for his own (appropriately named) label: Optima.
Now nearly 30 years later, Mike continues to craft small lots of Alexander Valley Cabernet, as well as Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Gewürztraminer from Dry Creek Valley, all with meticulous care.
Rich aromatics with generous fruit—cassis, blackberry and black cherry—are layered with notes of tobacco, leather and baking spices. On the palate, ripe fruit mingles with a hint of green peppercorn followed by a lengthy finish with firm tannin.
A bouquet of ripe, juicy blueberry pie bursts from the glass, followed by notes of black tea and cocoa. The palate is dense with flavors of black cherry, blueberry, plum, baking chocolate and mouth coating, structured tannins.
The nose explodes with aromas of juicy strawberry, wild berries, cocoa and potpourri, followed by flavors of tart red fruits, plum and mocha on the palate. Medium bodied with smooth tannin, this wine is eminently enjoyable on its own, yet a versatile food-wine.