"Jimmy Mancbach has the best job in America,” I wrote in a 2004 story about him. He flew to California wine country several times a year to find and bring back its very best wines, as director of fine wine for Southern Wine & Spirits.
Jimmy died last year of diabetes complications. His friends have set up a scholarship fund in his name to enable one young wine student each year to travel to wine country and work with the pros.
Now top Napa winemaker Tony Soter has created a wine in Jimmy’s name (literally: it’s the 2005 Jimmy Red Blend Napa Magnum), selling at about $100 per double bottle. Andy Lampasone, for one, has it at his WineWatch in Fort Lauderdale.
In his e-mail newsletter, Lampasone writes: “This unique, limited edition wine was specially crafted by Winemaker Tony Soter to celebrate Jimmy Mancbach's remarkable life and the significant contributions he made to the contemporary American wine scene. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot all sourced from some of the finest vineyards in Napa Valley. Just 450 cases were bottled all in Magnum format.”