This is true of Regan Wines, a tiny operation in the Napa Valley that produces just 375 cases a year. It's headed by Matthew Regan, sales director at Chateau Potelle in Napa, where he makes the wines.
The first Regan vintage was 2006. There were only four wines until Regan decided to produce a Chardonnay, which won't be released until next summer.
Regan jokes about his minuscule operation. "If you've never heard of us, I'm not offended," he said at a tasting in Los Angeles. "Beringer has more evaporation than we have wines."
But what he has is impressive, like the 2012 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc (above), made from two clones, Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Musque, and blended with 6% Semillon. The result is a graceful wine without aggressive vegetative flavors.
Fermented in stainless steel and aged seven months in French oak, it was inspired by one of Regan's favorites, Chateau Margaux's Pavillon Blanc.
Regan makes only single vineyard wines, and buys the grapes. The 2010 Zinfandel (above) is from the legendary Stagecoach Vineyard in Napa which, Regan says, has only three acres planted to Zinfandel. The real focus there is Cabernet Sauvignon.
Regan's Zin spent 18 months in French oak and is, he says, "a natural expression of Zinfandel," meaning he didn't play around with it. "The wine kind of makes itself," he says. Zinfandel was Regan's initial wine and sold out before it was bottled.
The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is from Rockledge Vineyards in Napa. It will hold for 20 years, he says, but will have optimal flavor in five. The wine spent 23 months in new French oak.
The most romantic of his wines is The Lucky Tornado (above), romantic because Regan met his future wife on a flight diverted by a tornado. The composition of the wine changes each year. The 2010 blends 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot and tastes like a big bowl of fruit.
Summing up recent Napa vintages, Regan (above) says 2011 was not so good; 2010 was obviously good, judging by his wines, and 2012 is "amazing" and will yield "some of the best wines ever from Napa Valley."