Clos du Bois Marlstone Alexander Valley 2005
89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot. When founder Frank Woods was deciding on a name for his new winery (established in 1974), his children, who were studying French at the time, recommended Clos Du Bois, which loosely translates to "enclosure in the woods." All are thankful with this bit of inspiration, as we might have ended up instead with the founder's dull, non-pizazz designation of "Woods Vineyard" or "Vineyard of the Woods." The 925-acre facility, in the heart of the Alexander Valley, is an impressive group of buildings in a campus environment with picnic tables located in the lawn areas, a tasting room designed as a modern barn, a U-shaped tasting bar, and a high-quality gift shop. Since its inception, Clos du Bois have championed sustainability through integrated pest management, composting, wildlife and fish habitat restoration, wetland preservation, energy efficiency (with 4,000 solar panels that provides 85% of the winery's energy needs), and other conservation programs. As a result, they have become a recognized leader in sustainability and environmentally responsible business practices.