In search of Anthony Bell
Almost five years ago, the RPM tour did a clonal tasting at Bell Cellars. The pinnacle for me was the 2005 Clone 6. That evening as the tasting was wrapping up, I managed to quietly buy a bottle.
I told RPM about that bottle the next day. He was rhapsodizing about what the wine would be like in a decade or two, and said that he would like liked to have gotten a bottle himself.
When the tour ended, the German girl and I went back to Bell and asked Maggie, the sales(?) manager if it was possible to get another bottle of the 2005. She checked with Anthony, and he gave the okay.
While the bottle was being found, we sat on the patio with Anthony and Sandra Bell as they were having their lunch and had a pleasant conversation. I learned that at one point they had been coming down to Southern California.
This planted a seed that grew into the idea of hosting a large vertical tasting of the Clone 6 Cabernet. My hope would be that Anthony and Sandra might attend, taste & talk about their wines, while I would provide the wine and food and basically take care of everything.
So I started building a vertical collection of Clone 6. At last - except for a bottle that RJ still has Winebid storing - I only needed a 1999 to have a 20 year run. And on the very day that I got that 1999, I learned that Anthony had retired, and that he & Sandra were setting off to see all the national parks in the States.
I may have to give up on this dream, but first I’d like to check if anyone is in contact with Anthony and Sandra Bell, to see if they might be in So Cal sometime and would be willing to spend an afternoon of wine here. If he were still active at the winery, I’d offer that he could invite a wine writer or two to attend, also.
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