Born in the USA
Small production wines from a few of our favorite families.
Failla “Hudson Vineyard” Syrah
CARNEROS, NAPA VALLEY
While the history of Failla (pronounced FAY-LA) is short, it is not without its complexities - our first vintage release was as Failla-Jordan in 1998. That year, Failla's first release of Alban Vineyard Viognier (Edna Valley) and Que Syrah Syrah (Sonoma Coast) coincided with planting the first blocks at our Estate Vineyard in Cazadero. The first Estate releases would be several years away.
Ehren loves to experiment with his favorite varietals, coaxing out their various incarnations from different climates (cool, cooler, and coolest), soil types, and rootstock.
In 1998 we bought a parcel contiguous to our first purchase from a few years earlier. In 2002 it was planted with five acres of rootstock before grafting Pinot Noir clones the following year. Ehren's viticultural training in France greatly influence his farming and winemaking choices, so that our eleven acres of Estate vineyards today produce Syrah, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir that capture the essence of California's coolest regions.
After cutting his teeth on Pinot Noir in 1999 with fruit from Keefer Ranch Vineyard in Russian River Valley, Ehren began seeking out enough unique, cool-climate Pinot Noir sources to galvanize his urge to tinker for years to come.
Our Pinot program eventually came to include wines from Hirsch Vineyard (2001), Occidental Ridge (2005), Peay Vineyard & Pearlessence Vineyard (2006), Whistler Vineyard (2009), Savoy Vineyard (2012) and Platt Vineyard (2015). We have also recently headed north, adding a single vineyard wine sourced from the highly acclaimed and Seven Springs Vineyard in Oregon's Eola-Amity AVA.
Chardonnay and Syrah are especially important to us as well, with Failla now boasting eight different bottlings of Chardonnay and three of Syrah. Sourcing from such venerable Napa locations as the Hudson Vineyard in Carneros and the Haynes Vineyard in Coombsville, the Failla Chardonnay stable continues to grow. On the Sonoma side, we purchased a gorgeous plot of land on Olivet Road (adjacent to the famed Olivet Vineyard) which has produced Chardonnay for us since 2013.
Syrah has long been near and dear to Ehren's heart - having been the first grapes he farmed and fermented when he worked for Cornas' Jean Luc Colombo in the early 1990’s. Not only are we working with two established vineyards - Hudson in Napa and Kick Ranch in Sonoma - we grow and bottle our own from our Estate Vineyard in western Sonoma County - just a few miles off the Pacific Coast.
"aromatics of pepper, black olive and charcuterie..."
Failla Hudson Vineyard Syrah opens to heady aromatics of pepper, black olive and charcuterie deliver structured, dense tannins. This cellar gem is one of the highlights of the vintage.
From a vineyard block planted in '97, Block 3 is nestled in steep hillsides of the vineyard.
100% whole cluster Syrah
Hamburger with Gouda cheese
The Crane Assembly Disciples Red Wine
The Crane Assembly
About the winery-The Crane Assembly was founded in 2012 by friends Dave Phinney, Darryl Browman, Kevin A. Fox and Byran Sandoli when they purchased one of Napa Valley’s historic viticultural landmarks. An eight-acre vineyard that was planted by the famous Dr. George Beldon Crane. Located in the gravel rich soils of southern St. Helena, it is believed that Dr. Crane first established grapes on this site in 1885, making it one of the oldest vineyards in Napa Valley.
Of the eight acres in production, approximately four acres are a combination of Crane’s original plantings and some newer (1930) “mixed blacks” plantings. This four-acre block has been continuously farmed for nearly one hundred and thirty years by a number of different people…and now it is our turn to take on that responsibility. In addition to the G.B. Crane Vineyard’s old vine section, there is also a 1.6-acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon, a 1.4-acre block of Petite Sirah, and two rows of Merlot.
From their estate, they produce two wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a field blend born from G.B. Crane’s original plantings named el Coco. In addition to their two estate wines they craft a third wine, a zinfandel blend from heritage vineyards found throughout the Napa Valley named Disciples.
Dave Phinney began his wine career at Robert Mondavi Winery as a temporary harvest intern in 1997 working several hours every day during the graveyard shift in the winery doing punch-downs and pump overs. With Mondavi’s encouragement, in 1997 Dave made a barrel of wine from second crop grapes and the next year produced his first vintage of a label he ultimately became well known for, Orin Swift. He wasn’t satisfied with the quality of the wine, so Dave sold that vintage on the bulk market (Orin Swift is now owned by E & J Gallo Winery). Little did either Mondavi or Phinney know that eventually both would again be linked based on Phinney’s remarkable success with The Prisoner wines.
"finish of strawberry cream, vanilla and caramelized sugar..."
Strawberry preserves leap from the glass initially, followed by a bouquet of floral aromatics: lavender, violets and roses. Rich earthy notes of freshly plowed soil, fresh rain on warm granite and petrichor. Spicy, but not a peppery spice, more of a star anise spiciness, tart raspberries and sweet plouts, with a very long, dusty finish of strawberry cream, vanilla and caramelized sugar that lingers.... smooth and luscious!
Fall Comfort Food
Hearty Beef Stew
Immortal Estate Slope Cabernet Sauvignon
New owners have taken over the acclaimed Hidden Ridge property and its unique terroir which has produced wines that have earned an exceptional 100 score from Robert Parker. Originally developed by Lynn Hofacket and Timothy Milos in 1990, the property’s wines have achieved a devoted following. Timothy Martin found his passion for all things culinary at the tender age of eleven when he started working for his Italian grandfather as a prep cook. That early taste led to two accomplished decades in restaurant and hospitality management. His devotion to food and the restaurant industry took him around the country until he found himself in Napa Valley, working with the legendary Robin Lail, and her wine project, Lail Vineyards. After helping establish and grow the Lail brand for ten years, he launched his own branding and marketing company in 2004 called Gauge Branding with partner Mark Wiegard.
In 2008, he began a joint venture, Tusk Estates, with his friends Michael Uytengsu and Philippe Melka. Their goal—to create the next great luxury wine brand. Fueled by passion and a great team, that journey has become a reality today.
His entrepreneurial spirit has led Timothy to form unique ventures including Carbon, the premier hospitality and DTC wine sales service for next generation cult wineries and Kitchen Collective, America’s first urban cooking club.
The Immortal Estate vineyard lies within an enclosed valley on steep mountainside slopes with mostly eastern and southern exposures at elevations ranging from l l 00 to 1700 feet. The soils are a complex mixture of uplifted alluvium and decomposed volcanic material typical of the Mayacamas Range and vary throughout the vineyard, which is on steep, mostly terraced slopes. The lean soils and steep slopes naturally limit vine vigor and give remarkably small-berried fruit. Although the vineyard is usually above the fog and sees warm days, the site is protected from inland heat and receives ocean cooling from early morning and late afternoon breezes that maintain moderate growing temperatures somewhat cooler than Spring Mountain directly to the east. The extended growing day at moderate temperatures gives the fruit well developed tannins and rich texture yet preserves the complex fruit characters and natural acidity.
"sweet fruit, supple palate and rich complexity..."
Layers of black fruit, cherry, dried cranberries, spicecake, interwoven with sweet pipe tobacco, dark muscovado sugar, cocoa powder, raspberry leaf and hibiscus tea. Concentrated and intense, this mountainside Cabernet entices with its sweet fruit, supple palate and rich complexity. Accessible in its youth, it will continue to evolve for decades.- winery notes
95 points Jeb Dunnuck
"Starting with the 2016 Slope, this beauty is all Cabernet Sauvignon that saw 28 months in 75% new French oak. Dense purple-hued with a rocking bouquet of blackcurrants, sagebrush, sappy green herbs, lead pencil, and tobacco, it hits the palate with a mammoth-sized personality that carries lots of tannins, a plush, sexy texture, no hard edges, and a great finish.”
A rich goat-cheese, parmesan, and panko stuffed portobello mushroom cap
Leighton Petit Verdot Olsen Brothers Vineyard
YAKIMA VALLEY, WA
Olsen Brothers Vineyard
Brennon Leighton is the Director of Winemaking and Viticulture at Charles Smith Wines where he oversees all viticulture, vineyard relations and winemaking for all Charles Smith brands, including K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines, ViNO, SIXTO, Wines of Substance and Casa Smith. Considered to be one of the best winemakers in the state of Washington by wine critics and connoisseurs alike, Leighton has nearly 20 years of experience in winemaking and viticulture.
Leighton grew up in Santa Cruz, California and moved to Seattle when he was a 21-year-old punk rocker, who exclusively drank cheap beer and whiskey. He was first introduced to wine while employed at a high-end restaurant and decided, at the age of 25, to go to college and earn a degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California at Davis.
Prior to working at Charles Smith Wines, Leighton worked in vineyards in California, eventually returning to Seattle to work for Chateau Ste. Michelle and later as Head Winemaker for Efeste. After first meeting in the early 1990s, Leighton and Charles Smith reconnected, and Smith hired Leighton as a consultant to help with his well-known wine, Kung Fu Girl Riesling. Two years later, in 2012, Charles Smith hired Leighton as the winery’s full-time Winemaker, and partner in his new Chardonnay project – SIXTO. Leighton’s thoughtful, kind, and intense passion for wine made him perfect for the job. In 2014, Leighton was promoted to Director of Winemaking and Viticulture where he now manages all vineyards and winemaking teams.
In 2012, Leighton created B. Leighton Wines to showcase the world-class terroir of Washington State. B. Leighton Wines are authentic, classic and alive. The wines have received 90+ points by wine critics such as Wine Spectator and Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, who most recently noted, “If you haven’t heard of Brennon Leighton, now’s a good time to fix that!”
"violets, black cassis, pipe tobacco and forest floor..."
Dark and brooding. Vibrant, beautiful and tantalizes the senses with violets, black cassis, pipe tobacco and forest floor. Elegant, fresh, deep and refined. It continues with black raspberry, ocean breeze, orange zest and a touch of fresh herbs. Need I say more? Drink up, buttercup.
Petit Verdot is a natural fit for rich, meat dishes, grilled steak, spicy pork, veal, lamb, all types of game, and sausage. Spicy foods pair well with Petit Verdot and it's perfect for a myriad of different hard and semi-soft cheeses.
Once & Future Palisades Petite Sirah
Joel Peterson. Quite possibly the most interesting man in the [Wine] World. He has been inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame. He championed the importance of Heritage and Historic vineyard sites in California. The wines he crafted for his original Ravenswood label made this the bestselling red Zinfandel brand in the world. After 45 years in the wine industry, he's back with a return to his original vision from many years ago - "a small project specializing in wines from unique older vineyards, made with a sensitivity to place and in a style that I personally love and believe in." Joel further details this vision as "Wines that force me to dust off the old redwood vats and get out a new punch down tool [my original is in the Smithsonian], wines that dye my hands a harvest shade of black/purple and sometimes force me to take an additional Ibuprofen in the morning. In short - wines of sweat, commitment, and love." Those wines are here, now, with Once & Future
"exotic white flowers build as this arrestingly beautiful showstopper opens up..."
The 2018 Petite Sirah Palisades Vineyard is sumptuous, racy and explosive. Inky and voluptuous to the core, with soft curves and tremendous fruit intensity, the 2018 has it all. Crème de cassis, blueberry jam, spice, lavender, menthol and exotic white flowers build as this arrestingly beautiful showstopper opens up with a bit of air. Joel Peterson has done a tremendous job exalting the purity of the fruit, while avoiding the hard tannins that can at times make young Petite hard to approach. In a word...wow!
Petite Sirah has the full bodied high tannins, so matching this with richer, fatty foods is key to create balance! Roasted pork, chicken in mole sauce, aged gouda, camembert.
Far Mountain "Fission" Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma Valley, CA
Over the last three decades, Mai Errazuriz and her husband Rodrigo Soto have worked for a number of leading wineries in North and South America. A last minute dinner in Napa with longtime friends led to a deep discussion about the direction of wine in California. The discussion was more than deep; it touched on life values, and for a group obsessed with wine, led to a series of questions. And like that, Mai and Rodrigo started
Fission is a pure mountain wine, with a dark depth of fruit chiseled by the cool elevation of its two vineyard sites. A wine of texture, with the intensity and sappy concentration we associate with old vines, it builds into powerful tannins that remain refined, almost cloaked by the seductiveness of the fruit and the gently building structure. The name Fission was ultimately chosen to reference the textural and mineral characteristics that the unique volcanic soil brings to this wine.
"A build into powerful tannins..."
From the first tastings the character of the vineyard appeared: a beautiful and intense ripeness of black fruits, with a seamless, soft and silky flow through the mid-palate. There is not just fruit, but obvious earthy and mineral characteristics. And it is a wine of texture, with a sappy concentration that we identify with old vines. A build into powerful tannins that remain refined, almost cloaked by the seductiveness of the fruit and the gently building structure. The name Fission was ultimately chosen to reference the textural and mineral characteristics we believe the volcanic soils bring to the wine.
Beef short ribs
We're talking mountain Cabernet from the other side of the Mayacamas. The obvious pairing is steak, but spend a little extra time and do a slow recipe of Beef Short Ribs (or venison!). The earthiness of fresh mushrooms will be perfect alongside.
Matthiasson Village Cabernet Sauvignon #3
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, SONOMA
Sometimes you just want an honest glass of Cabernet. Refreshing, flavorful, not too heavy, and not too light. A Cab for drinking at the table, not looking at in the cellar. And a Napa Cab that doesn’t break the bank. A “Village” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. A bright lively wine with lots of flavor that is great with food. We blended a “table Cab” from delicious lots of our wine that didn’t quite make it into our Matthiasson Cabernet blend but taste great together as a “Village” wine.
Village Cab No. 3 is a blend of wines from multiple vineyards throughout Napa Valley, from Rutherford down to Oak Knoll, all of which were organically farmed, fermented, and aged by us and us alone.
Steve Matthaisson is a legend in Napa. Steve started out as a vineyard guy, not a winemaker, but with clients that included Araujo, Spottswoode, Chappellet, and Stag's Leap, Matthiasson gleaned valuable info on creating fresh, vibrant new wines. With his “grapes come first” sensibility, his skill at balancing lusciousness with crisp intensity and his fascination with little-known varieties, Matthiasson is helping to change the Napa Valley paradigm. Steve and Jill Matthiasson have created an impressive name-sake winery of their own, practicing all their own teachings and techniques when it comes to the best farming practices.
Steve dreamt of farming his entire life. He became an obsessed gardener and cook while studying philosophy in college. In 1994, while back in grad school for horticulture after three years as a bike messenger/wannabe farmer, he found a job in vineyards and orchards working for a small sustainable agriculture consulting firm. In 1999 he co-authored the California manual on sustainable vineyard practices. In 2002 he started consulting on vineyard practices in Napa. He still loves the challenge of solving vineyard problems for others, but since 2003 the primary focus has been on our own family farming and winemaking. Steve is a life-long student of the craft of viticulture.
"vibrant and fresh, with medium tannin and beautiful acidity..."
The nose shows abundant red fruits, lots of bright cherry along with bramble-berries, such as blackberry, cranberry, mulberry, and framed with hints of mineral/herbal characters such as graphite, cedar, and pencil shavings. The palate is vibrant and fresh, with medium tannin and beautiful acidity. This wine will age beautifully, but is ready to drink right away—it will always appreciate a little time in a decanter, carafe, or water pitcher—whatever gets the job done for this Village Cab. - Winery Notes
As with all of our Cabernet Sauvignon, the fruit was hand harvested in small lots and fermented at low temperatures. It was punched down or pumped over only twice per day; we don’t strive for a high rate of extraction, instead choosing to preserve the freshness and high-toned aromatics. Since the fermentation temperatures were cool, the fermentation was long and slow, generally lasting for two to three weeks. The wine was aged for 20 months in mostly used barrels with a few new barrels included for spice—it is a Napa Valley Cabernet after all and a little new oak is delicious.
Dang, this wine is delicious, it almost doesn't even need a food pairing! We've picked this to be the perfect weeknight wine for you, so pair this with whatever you are having and you can't go wrong!
David Arthur Proprietary Red
PRITCHARD HILL, NAPA VALLEY
David Arthur Vineyards
The origins of David Arthur Vineyards and the Long Family Ranch date back to when the Long family started visiting the Napa Valley in the 1950’s. Don Long, a butcher by trade, owned a small grocery store in Portola Valley, near Stanford University and had long been interested in the California wine country. With a keen eye for business opportunities, Don began steadily investing in Napa Valley real estate leading to the acquisition of nearly 1,000 acres atop Pritchard Hill in St. Helena, California.
Don’s son, David, had an interest in fermentation at an early age. A friendship forged on a seventh-grade school bus resulted in some early experimentation with apple juice, yeast culture and plenty of boyhood anticipation. That initial interest soon waned, but would resurface many years later with a much more refined product.
In the early 1970’s, David transitioned from University life to the world of food and wine opening his first restaurant in Boulder, CO. This experience cemented his passion for great food, fine wine (and hard work!) The art of hospitality and the cultivation of great friendships has never been lost on David. If there is any reason to celebrate; life, love, family, friends, a beautiful day, David is there with open arms, a mischievous smile and lots of delicious food, tasty libations and plenty of fun!
David was lured to the Napa Valley by his adventurous spirit and the opportunity to do something special. One fateful evening in the winter of 1976, David’s father, Don Long, disclosed that during the 1950’s and 60’s he had purchased nearly 1,000 acres of land in the eastern hillsides of Rutherford. The Judgement of Paris had been published in Time magazine and conversations with Andre Tchelistcheff, the Dean of American Winemaking, ensued. The Europeans had been growing wine in the hills for centuries and the concept of terroir was on the American horizon.
David wasted no time clearing the land, removing rock and planting his vineyard on Pritchard Hill. He began learning about viticulture and oenology through internships at Chappellet, Joseph Phelps and Schramsberg all the while taking classes at UC Davis. Hard work was the name of the game and David had endless energy to get the job done. The result: electricity, water, a barn, a house, a road and nineteen acres of pristine grapevines producing the extraordinary fruit that goes into each bottle of highly acclaimed David Arthur Vineyards wine.
After nearly forty years of farming grapes on their Pritchard Hill Estate, it’s time to announce the launch of the Next Generation of David Arthur Vineyards wine ~ DAV. They have created a new, modern wine that represents the bold personality found in each and every bottle of their Estate wines. This Bordeaux-style blend allows us to weave together the rich, concentrated elegance and power of our mountain-grown Bordeaux varietals as well as the best of surrounding vineyards within the Napa Valley. The wine is aged an average of 20 months in French oak barrels, blended with meticulous care and bottled at our vineyard estate. The result is a complex array of aromas and flavors that deliver plush, mouth-filling structure with soft, elegant tannins.
"The palate is soft and plush with fine-grained tannins..."
A dark cerise color offering an array of fruit and spice aromas; bright cherry, red raspberry, baked cassis, and plum followed by notes of anise, baking spices, garrigue and cherry cola. The palate is soft and plush with fine-grained tannins offering beautiful acidity and structure. The finish is long and silky with flavors of candied plum, tamarind, brown sugar and molasses.
Beef... it's what's for dinner!
Pritchard Hill is the backbone of this wine, yet it's ready to drink with a fine set of tannins. Dress this up next to your favorite cut of steak all the way down to just a juicy grilled burger!
Barnett Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley
Barnett Vineyards is located at the top of Spring Mountain with spectacular views of the Napa Valley 1700' below. Founded in 1983 by Fiona and Hal Barnett, this rocky mountainside is ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon and the blending varietals of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In 1984, the first vines were planted in terraced rows with total plantings numbering fourteen acres by 1988. The vines yield an average of less than two tons of fruit per acre resulting in rich, intense wines that have become synonymous with the Barnett name.
Winemaker David Tate, who spent five years at Ridge helping craft the legendary Monte Bello, is the perfect person to usher Barnett’s extreme terroir into the bottle. Critics and Classic members alike have been awed by his work. Vinous wrote that Barnett’s Cabs “impress for their balance and overall sense of harmony,” while our members have called them “one of the best!”
Napa’s 2018 season gave David everything he needed to craft a classic. Decanter said the vintage “belongs in an echelon with the finest of the past two decades.” In the words of James Suckling, “it’s hard to think of a better vintage for those looking for finesse and refinement.”
On Spring Mountain, where Barnett’s vines sit well above the fog line, 2018’s generous sunshine was even more generous. The terraced rows are planted on slopes up to 35 degrees, where they receive up to three more hours of sunlight than vines on the valley floor. Rooted in rocky, porous soils, these low-yielding vines strain to produce tiny clusters of densely concentrated Cabernet. Tempered by cool mountain breezes, the grapes are treated to long hang times and slow ripening, producing a rich, balanced wine.
"Fresh blackberry, anise and mocha..."
In 2018 climatic conditions were perfect up on Spring Mountain. This Cabernet is evidence of that. Fresh blackberry, anise and mocha are the first things apparent on the nose followed by cola, acai berry and menthol. This is a silky lush wine with layers of dark chocolate, cedar and freshly ground coffee. The tannins are chiefly present, being round pleasing chalky tannins with firm mountain acid balancing them out. The finish is chocolate covered plum. This powerhouse Cabernet is already showing well and will develop even more complexity over the next 10-12 years.
Steak, butter... any questions?
Sit back and buckle up, the Barnett Cabernet is ALWAYS a huge favorite around Classic. This wine is a match made in heaven with hard aged cheeses like cheddar, gorgonzola or gouda. We’re always a fan of filet mignon with a gorgonzola butter over top with this wine!
Limerick Lane Russian River Zinfandel
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, SONOMA
Limerick Lane is a 30-acre estate located in the north east corner of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. In an appellation that’s renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, we grow and produce world class Zinfandel and Rhone varietals. We sit at an exact point where soil, water levels, rocks, sunshine, wind and fog meet. On top of, underneath, and in the midst of these earthly factors sit grapevines perfectly evolved in their composition, to thrive in this exact environment. Without any one of these individual factors, these wines wouldn’t exist.
Jake Bilbro is a fourth-generation Sonoma County winemaker and grape grower. Native to Sonoma County and Healdsburg in particular, Jake grew up checking vineyards throughout the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys with his dad while drinking cream soda and playing hide and go seek tag with his brothers in his dad’s winery: Marietta Cellars. Jake’s passion for the wine lifestyle began at a very young age when his chores were cleaning barrels, dragging hoses, and in most ways being his dad’s shadow.
Fate, luck, and happenstance brought him to Limerick Lane (the road) and eventually to owning the century old Limerick Lane Estate where he now produces some of the most acclaimed wines in the Russian River Valley.
Today, Jake and his wife Alexis own Limerick Lane Cellars and Limerick Lane Vineyards and Jake produces estate grown wines that reflect the personality, history, and heartbeat that is ever apparent at Limerick Lane. While under Jake’s stewardship, Limerick Lane has received significant acclaim and recognition.
"unparalleled clarity of flavor and aromas..."
This Russian River Zinfandel is their flagship wine. Originally planted by Italians at the start of the 1900’s, this wine hearkens back, in some ways, to a different time. While seamless and with an unparalleled clarity of flavor and aromas, there is also an undeniable gravity that Limerick Lane Zinfandel seems to exude. It may be nothing more than a romantic appreciation for the hands that have tended these vines for over a century. It’s possible that it is a result of the other varieties, now all but extinct, save for a few old Zinfandel vineyards like Peloursin, Negrette, and Petite Sirah, that add more structure, color, and acid than normally found in Zinfandel. Maybe the rocks, the dirt, the morning fog and the afternoon sun come together in this place a little differently than anywhere else. It may even be all of these special characteristics combined, but the Zinfandel grown at the end of this little lane is undeniably special, undeniably unique, and undeniably “Limerick Lane.”
Old vine Zinfandel is the American standard-bearer for grilled meats. From brats, to flank steak, to pork chops, you really can't ever go wrong with this wine. The brambly fruit and acidity will keep you coming back for second servings!
K Vintners Rock Garden Vineyard Syrah
WALLA WALLA VALLEY, COLUMBIA VALLEY, WA
Located at the base of the Blue Mountains in Walla Walla, Washington, K Vintners opened its doors to the public on December 3rd, 2001. The property at 820 Mill Creek Road where the winery sits was homesteaded in 1853 with the adjacent farmhouse built in 1872. The winery grounds with Titus Creek flowing through the lawn and the old pioneer planted trees, is a little slice of heartland Americana.
The Winemaker: He loves to drink wine! Charles Smith, proprietor and winemaker, comes to Walla Walla after 11 years in Scandinavia. Originally from northern California, he has been involved with wine personally and professionally his whole life. And did we forget to mention... he loves to drink wine! The Vineyards: K Vintners is producing wines from 2 distinctive viticultural zones: Wahluke Slope and Walla Walla Valley. Each of these areas are unique and awesome for Syrah and the Field Blends produced. In April '02 two separate blocks of vineyards were planted to Syrah adjacent to the winery in the rocky dry creek beds that run through K Vintners property.
"Flavorful and polished at the end..."
"Purity speaks! A creature of its vineyard. Stone, Asian five spice, game, cocoa, dried herbs and cold riverbed aromas that waft up from the glass and fill your senses with the most amazing perfume. WOW. 100% Syrah / 100% whole cluster pressed / Native yeast / 48 days on skins / 42% new French oak puncheons / 21 mo. barrel-aged on lees."- Charles Smith, Winemaker
“Iodine and licorice with crushed-stone and dark-berry character. Full-bodied with chewy tannins that are structured and intense. Flavorful and polished at the end with just a hint of coffee. Drink or hold.” - 96 points James Suckling
“Coming from a great site in the Rocks District of Walla Walla, the 2018 Syrah Rockgarden Vineyard has an incredibly smoky, meaty nose that carries lots of red and black fruits, notes of charcoal and graphite, medium-bodied richness, and a balanced, slightly more narrow, firm style that will hopefully open up with 2-3 years of bottle age. It's another wine that's not up to prior vintages yet still brings lots of character and is unquestionably an outstanding wine.” - 93 points Jeb Dunnuck
The choice is yours
Syrah...what can you really NOT pair with this wine? The aromatics draw you in....it's like a meal in a glass with how deliciously savory this wine is! Get fancy and creative with dinner tonight, or just eat all the al pastor tacos you can and enjoy this wine.
Mending Wall Cabernet Sauvignon
SAINT HELENA, NAPA VALLEY
Mending Wall is the product of three families and the thing that brought them together- their love of wine. Here, there are no rules. No expectations. Just the freedom to follow that friendship, to let it unfold and take new directions. The name Mending Wall comes from the Robert Frost poem about two neighbors who meet once a year to restore the boundary that separates them, the boundary that brings them together. Our winemaking philosophy follows a similar path. Mending Wall is about coming together to explore and question the established boundaries in winemaking. Here, it’s free to experiment and play. No longer constrained by space, time or rules about what should and what should not go into a bottle.
Located near Calistoga, Mending Wall winery was founded by Frank and Kathy Dotzler, Mark Pulido and Donna Walker and Thomas Rivers Brown who all have exemplary track records of success in Napa producing some of the valley's most sought after wines.
"deep, dark core of blackberry, blueberry and dark chocolate..."
Winery notes: "One of things we are most proud of around here is the growth and development of the Napa Cabernet program. Each new vintage takes the best aspects of the previous and improves upon them. The 2017 Napa takes that step and then some, it would be safe to say we feel this is the best iteration of this wine to date. The 2017 Mending Wall Napa Cabernet Sauvignon has a bright juicy shell that gives way to a deep, dark core of blackberry, blueberry and dark chocolate. A wine not to be missed."
“The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is a bold, powerful wine. Super-ripe dark black cherry, licorice and chocolate all build in the glass. The 2017 is a solid entry-level wine in the range, but there is no getting around the slightly grainy, rough-around-the-edges tannins in this vintage.” (AG) - Vinous
Yumm... just... yumm...
Steak topped a with gorgonzola cheese butter, roasted rosemary potatoes on the side
Lioco “Indica Red”
Mendocino County, CA
LIOCO was conceived in the alley behind Spago Beverly Hills by wine director Kevin O’Connor and wine salesman Matt Licklider. The two colleagues, critical of the heavy-handed wines of the day, wondered if it were possible to make some local wines that favored nuance over sheer power. In 2005, relying on nothing more than their palates and their rolodexes, the two embarked on a winemaking odyssey. Europe was the inspiration, as were the more restrained California wines of the 1980’s. Today the winery is owned and operated by the Licklider family.
- 93% Carignan
- 7% Valdiguié
- Practicing Organic
- Mendocino County AVA
- Carignan sourced from McCutchen Ranch & Bartolomei Vineyard
- 70-year-old, dry farmed vines
- Exposed rocky soils
- Valdiguié sourced from Lolonis Vineyard
- 50-year-old vines
- Clay soils
- Fermented in a mix of open-top tanks with light cap maintenance and T-bins under a submerged cap
- Aged 7 months in a mix of neutral oak barriques, puncheons, and stainless-steel tanks
"blueberry compote, dried rosemary and iron..."
Aromas of blueberry compote, dried rosemary and iron. Flavors of plum skin, granite and black raspberry.
The combination of Italian sausage, fennel, and red onion makes for the perfect Pizza alla Salsiccia with this wine. Bravo!
Habit Wines Cabernet Sauvignon
For winemaker Jeff Fischer, the quest to find what made a good wine great led to a decade of experimentation, trial and error. His first label, Casa Pescador, was a crowning achievement for an amateur winemaker. But it was mostly a friends-and-family affair. The chosen grapes and methodologies worked well, yet the results were inconsistent. Having had a taste of the magic that was possible, it was time for Jeff to take things to another level. His home operation had outgrown itself. It was time to move up to 'boutique'. And it was time to make a truly great wine, and all great wines start with the right grape...
Jeff has been to just about every corner of California and beyond in his search for the right grape to make the wine on his mind. To cut a years-long story short, he finally found what he was looking for in 2007, standing in a field in Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara County.
The map that led Jeff to Happy Canyon was drawn from countless conversations with wine lovers and vintners; both novices and experts whom he hoped could help him find what he was looking for. In Happy Canyon, the microclimate, the soil, the soft pacific breeze all combine to give birth to some of the finest Bordeaux grape varietals to come out of California. Jeff knew he had found his grape.
With so many years of frustrated experience under his belt, Jeff soon also found friends and accomplices in the region, each of them drawn to this point of convergence, each of them with a different wine on their mind. Their friendship, generosity of expertise and passion for the process has helped Jeff bring my own Habit into the public domain. Handcrafted, using artisanal methods in a state of the art facility, Habit is everything he hoped it would be.
"easy drinking with nice acidity..."
This wine is fresh and bright , easy drinking with nice acidity, soft tannins, upfront cherry, blackberry and bramble.
Only 121 cases produced! The second vintage of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from certified Organic fruit from Coquelicot Vineyard planted in 2007. We have been working with Cabernet Sauvignon since the first vintage in 2008, but it was all going into the Habit Red Bordeaux Blend.
Picked and sorted by hand, with both hand punchdowns and pumpovers in open-top fermenters. Aged in 100% Neutral French oak, on the lees for 24 months, before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
4th of July Cookout Anyone?
Don't stop yourself, this is the perfect wine with a bacon cheeseburger and fries on the side. So fire up the grill or BYO at your favorite burger drive in.
Epoch Estate Blend
PASA ROBLES, CA
When setting out on our “crazy” quest to make wine, we did not have our sights set on any particular wine region. However, we knew two things for sure: we loved wines made from Rhone varieties, and being geologists, we understood the importance terroir plays in the making of world-class wines. Upon extensive research and travel, we kept coming back to Paso Robles for the weather, unique soils, hilliness, and extreme temperature swings that are known to this region and are found within each of our vineyard sites – Paderewski, Catapult, and York Mountain. The cowboy culture, entrepreneurial spirit, and unmistakable beauty were just added bonuses! Our own epoch officially began in 2004 with the purchase of our Paderewski Vineyard. This chapter became so fruitful (pun intended) that we spread our roots to Catapult Vineyard in 2008 and then the historic York Mountain Winery two years later…Today we are beyond blessed to be stewards of these lands, and we are honored to carry on the legacies of York Mountain and Ignacy Paderewski through our wines. Wines that are carefully crafted from Rhone, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo varieties. Like we said, there are a multitude of stories begging to be told within this short summary, so we hope you take some time to read more about us and eventually come see us in person! - Liz and Bill Armstrong
Founded in 2004 by geologists, Bill and Liz Armstrong, Epoch has quickly developed a big reputation for handcrafted, small-production wines with abundant personalities. Under the careful care of Winemaker, Jordan Fiorentini, Epoch is committed to producing world-class wines from Rhône, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo varieties grown on their three west Paso Robles vineyards – Paderewski, Catapult, and York Mountain. Epoch’s Tasting Room and Winery are located on the storied York Mountain which was once home to the first bonded winery on the central coast. Preserving the rich history found on this property as well as Paderewski Vineyard, a sight once owned and cherished by the late Polish Prime Minister and pianist, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Epoch strives to carry on these legacies through their wines and the unique Epoch experience.
Through carefully managed, non-invasive farming, Epoch aims to bring the complex character of their vineyards into each bottle of wine they craft. All of Epoch's fruit comes from their three specific and unique sites: Paderewski, Catapult, and York Mountain Vineyards.
PADEREWSKI VINEYARD: Travel just west of Paso Robles, and you will find Paderewski Vineyard: 67 acres of undulating, steep, limestone rich hillsides within 570 rural, spring-fed acres.
CATAPULT VINEYARD: Directly in the heart of the Paso Robles’ Templeton Gap, near the acclaimed L’Aventure and Booker Vineyards, sits Catapult Vineyard.
YORK MOUNTAIN: Located just seven miles from the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1,500 feet, this property falls in the small 640 acre York Mountain AVA, which is outside of the very large Paso Robles AVA.
"Aromas of black fruits, roasted meats, dried tobacco and sage..."
Seriously sophisticated and rich in all the right places, the 2016 Estate Blend is one to enjoy in its youth but also to lay down for quite some time. Aromas of black fruits, roasted meats, dried tobacco and sage give way to a chewy, long mouthfeel, layered with black cherry, black licorice, graphite, vanilla and a dark chocolate texture. The brilliant acidity sends the wine singing high throughout its full and structured palate. Its fresh and refined youthfulness heralds the gifts this wine will deliver with several years in bottle.
58% Syrah, 19% Mourvèdre, 17% Grenache, 6% Tempranillo
Time for a BBQ
BBQ'd chicken is what we're talking about for this lip-smacking good wine!
The Wonderland Project “No. 9” Cabernet Sauvignon
ATLAS PEAK, NAPA
Wonderland’s No. 9 Cabernet is all about the access to a top vineyard on Atlas Peak by winemaker Matt Ahern. Atlas Peak is known for robust, powerful Cabernet, even by Napa standards, and No. 9 lives up to that promise. The wine shows an impenetrably dark purple hue that hints at what’s to come, and the nose delivers with aromas of sun-kissed blackcurrant, hints of cedar, and a powerful wave of blackberry jam. On the palate, it boasts a tremendous amount of depth and complexity. Hints of wild bay laurel, graphite, and violets frame a deeply fruited powerhouse that’s all about wallops of cassis and dark plums. The wine takes another step after an hour of air, softening around the edges and delivering more complexity—a sign that it’ll improve with some time in the cellar, if you can keep your hands off it now.
This is the sort of bottling we’d expect from Matt Ahern, one of the best-connected guys in the Los Angeles sommelier scene. That’s why, when he left his day job as a broker of exotic and rare wines to start The Wonderland Project, we knew it would be a label to keep an eye on.
This is only the first vintage of his No. 9 Napa Cabernet, and there’s a reason that the French Laundry was first to pick it up—it’s a stunning value at its list price. Matt sources the fruit from a high-altitude, secret-to-the-rest-of-the-world vineyard in the famed Atlas Peak district of Napa, using connections that he built over his years as a go-to-guy for allocated and rare wines.
The site has been organically farmed since 2004, and the wine shows off the concentration and power you’d expect of a vineyard at 1,600 feet of elevation, where the fog burns off easily and the grapes are forced to grow thick skins that translate to extra power in the finished wine. A bit of well-judged new oak helps with a silky mouthfeel, and adds a hint of spice before the wine is bottle unfined and unfiltered for maximal flavor and impact.
"bay leaf, black leather, graphite, and wild violet..."
Deep opaque purple-black center with thick crimson staining tears. The nose smells of warm blackcurrant, smashed blackberry, and cedar. The darkly profiled palate gives off bay leaf, black leather, graphite, and wild violet. There is considerable density and depth, with the wine really coming around to show a softer side with one hour of air, at which point polished tones of currant compote and pipe tobacco begin to linger on the long, rich finish. This certainly can sit down in a cellar for 15 years, or be enjoyed at this moment with an hour of patience. Drink now - 2035.
Burgers. Enough Said.
We definitely love to eat great burgers and get creative with them....go with a mushroom and bacon burger here. Thick cut some sweet potatoes and roast for the perfect side of fries.
Grable “Patience” Cabernet Sauvignon
Michael grew up among the vines in Napa and Davis and vowed to return one day. In 2002, that day finally arrived… Michael and Amy moved to wine country from San Francisco, chasing the sun and a dream. They searched for the perfect garden and stumbled on an even better one… a 20 acre vineyard in unknown, unspoiled, unimaginably glorious Knights Valley. Inspired by the creek, the redwoods and the wildlife, they quickly committed to becoming stewards of the land. And inspired by the gnarled and beautiful, decades-old Old Wente vines, they quickly determined to grow and make terroir-driven wines that they would love to drink and share.
Together, the team of two set out to create a magical world where friends would gather and wildlife would flourish. Michael would tend the vines, and Amy would make the wine.
Michael is a wine lover with a green thumb, a nature enthusiast, a weather junkie and a natural farmer. He jumped into the vineyard with both feet, both hands, a tractor and his beloved frost fans. Michael made vineyard health, sustainable farming and water conservation priorities. He collaborated with seasoned and cutting-edge vineyard managers and looked to famed water-witch Laurie Woods for guidance on water management.
Amy is propelled by the notion that no guest shall go thirsty. The Grables shared the bounty of their first harvest with Peter McCoy, the property’s former proprietor and winemaker. Peter became both mentor and friend, and Amy started that first ‘02 vintage with her mentor at her side, making wine by hand, drop by drop, in a cool cave in Napa. Over the years, she honed her craft through course studies in winemaking and continued extensive hands-on experience.
"great depth, a powerful wine..."
Red and black fruit with meaty nose. This wine has great depth, a powerful wine with structure and balance. Focused from start to finish.
BBQ... It's Texas!
Bbq brisket from your favorite place with all the sides
HOWELL MOUNTAIN, NAPA
Outpost was established in 1998 with the vision of producing wines that are a living, breathing embodiment of this magical place. Truly one of the world’s great Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel growing regions, the unique terroir of the Outpost vineyards – the hard, rocky red soil, high altitude, gentle cooling breezes and sunny western exposure – produces fruit of incredible intensity and richness, with a distinctive spice you simply cannot find anywhere else.
Capturing the essence of the land’s rugged terrain, Outpost creates world-class 100% varietal bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Grenache from our own hand-cultivated, organically farmed 28 acre estate vineyard. We also produce a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and ‘Immigrant’ red blend, a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, from our 9 acre True vineyard. The guiding principle of our wine-making program is to realize the full potential of these unique pieces of land, to create a living history of vintages with immense character and true sense of place.
Sharing this philosophy and intrigued by the potential of the estate’s magnificent vineyards, winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown has crafted the wines from the beginning.
"medium-bodied, juicy, and elegant..."
“This was a tough variety in 2017 due to it ripening during the time of the heatwave, yet this team made a terrific 2017 Zinfandel. Brought up in one-third each of new, once-, and twice-used barrels, it has classic Zinfandel brambly herbs, blood orange, candied citrus, and bright berry fruits. Medium-bodied, juicy, and elegant, it has a distinct saltiness that’s going to make it shine on the dinner table. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years or more.” - 92 points Jeb Dunnuck
Melt in your mouth
Slow cooked Pot Roast
Gainey Vineyards Merlot
SANTA YNEZ VALLEY
In 1962, my grandfather and father purchased 1,800 acres of undeveloped land stretching across the eastern end of Santa Ynez Valley. Within a year, they started a cattle operation and converted 600 acres into farmland for vegetables, fruit, flowers, and hay crops that have sustained our family for generations.
After my grandfather passed away, my father took over farming our Home Ranch and planted 50 acres of grapevines, nurturing a dream he had of one day producing a Gainey family wine. In 1984, he established our Spanish-style winery – designed to produce small quantities of high-quality wine – and released a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
"Juicy and succulent on the palate..."
Produced entirely from grapes we cultivate at our Home Ranch in eastern Santa Ynez Valley, our Estate Grown Merlot is a sumptuous red wine boasting fragrant black cherry and dark plum aromas mingled with appealing vanilla, milk chocolate and light herbal scents. Juicy and succulent on the palate, the wine’s concentrated dark cherry, plum and cassis flavors gain a zesty tea-leaf spice tone in the long, savory finish. Beautifully balanced, with supple tannins, our Merlot is delicious on release with poultry, duck, game and beef dishes, but it handsomely rewards an additional 3-4 years of bottle aging.
Simple & Good
Robert Foley Charbono
Robert (Bob) Foley began his winemaking career in the Napa Valley in 1977, having just graduated from UC Davis with degrees in both Viticulture and Enology. He spent his first year working for Heitz Cellars, followed by 15 years as the founding winemaker for Markham Vineyards.
In 1992, Bob began another 15 years as the founding winemaker for Pride Mountain Vineyards. During this period, he also created the highly acclaimed Switchback Ridge, Hourglass, Paloma, and School House wines. He now focuses mostly on Robert Foley Vineyards wines, but also creates the offerings from Shelter, Padis Vineyards, Engel Family, Herson Family Vineyards, and JennaMarise in the Napa Valley.
In 1998 Robert Foley Vineyards bottled its flagship Claret and has since expanded and diversified its production to offer more of the big reds Bob is famous for – Petite Sirah, Merlot, Charbono, the limited-release Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and Howell Mountain Merlot from our estate property, a Carneros Pinot Noir, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, an Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon called Kelly's Mountain Cuvée, a Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, and The Griffin (a blend of the best in the red cellar). Bob has also bottled three of his favorites: a medium-bodied Chardonnay, a Syrah that we call Kelly's Cuvée, and a Port-style dessert wine named Conclusão.
Bob’s reputation for producing very expressive wines that finish gracefully continues to develop at his winery facility on Napa County’s Howell Mountain, where more than 1,500 barrels are housed in an extensive cave system (completed in 2008) for the production of Robert Foley wines.
"dried cherries, cranberries, and rose petals..."
This grape variety originated in the Savoie region of the French Alps and cuttings were brought to the Napa Valley in the 1880s. Ours is aged in seasoned French oak for 18 months so the fruit character shines. Aroma suggests dried cherries, cranberries, and rose petals with a hint of white pepper. A gentle mid-palate offers flavors of black cherry candy, resolving with soft tannin, lively acidity, and a long finish.
Don't forget your veggies!
Roasted vegetables with haloumi cheese
Ty Caton Cabernet Sauvignon
MOON MOUNTAIN, SONOMA
In 1997, having moved back to my home town of Sonoma following college and various endeavors in real estate, I wanted to do something significant in the town I grew up in and loved. I suggested to my parents that we partner in the development of their 108 acre property in the renowned Mayacamas Mountain Range. I was convinced that the property was pedigree land.
Located adjacent to some world class vineyards and with an array of various soils, elevations, and sun exposures, I knew it was just waiting for vines to be planted. It was a prime location for grape growing and now has its own prestigious appellation ~ Moon Mountain District. The property took three long years to develop and from there my farming career and Ty Caton Vineyards was established.
Farming the vineyards quickly evolved into a passion for growing grapes which led to the inevitable: I wanted to make wine. . . Not just any wine, I wanted to make extraordinary wines! With the harvest of 2000, I made the first vintage, 500 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon. Although I continue to sell some grapes to select wineries, I now keep most of the fruit for my own production as the demand for the wines has increased dramatically.
The winery’s annual production is just under 10,000 cases with over 20 products, 11 being small production cabernet sauvignons (3-8 barrels) from each distinctive block on the property; so close in proximity, yet so different, as well as small blocks of Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Malbec. Planting these 5 varietals later enabled me to produce my flagship wine, Tytanium.
"rich and robust flavors..."
The 2018 Estate Cabernet greets the palate with rich and robust flavors of black cherries, plums, and cassis, followed by oak notes of sandalwood and vanilla. These dark flavors produce a dense textured mouth feel that combine with soft sturdy tannins, followed by a long silky smooth finish.
Where's the beef?
Beef Burger with blue cheese
Jones Family ’The Sisters’ Cabernet Sauvignon
Jones Family Vineyards
Rick Jones is at the helm of Jones Family Vineyards. He discovered and purchased our Calistoga Estate in 1993 after searching for an ideal piece of land to commence the next chapter of his life following a successful career as a grocery retail executive in San Francisco. He was drawn to the property not for the acres already planted to vine, but by the enchanting views overlooking the valley floor and the encompassing 100 acres of virgin forest that surrounds.
Although the parcel came with vineyards, Rick had no intention of making wine from the property. He sold the grapes for the first few years until he tasted the wine made from our fruit and realized it was world-class and worthy of its own Estate brand.
Together with his daughters Heather and Stephanie, Rick established Jones Family Vineyards in 1996 embarking on a 20-year journey that currently spans three generations and holds the potential for a longer future legacy.
Ensuring the well being of the Napa Valley and all its residents is a strong value of the Jones Family as well. Rick and his wife Elaine support and serve on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations that ensure access to education, health and well being for all Napa Valley community members.
"dark black fruit profile laced with exotic spice notes..."
The 2017 The Sisters expresses a very dark black fruit profile laced with exotic spice notes and framed with a broad shouldered tannin structure. In the glass the wine exhibits a completely opaque dark purple hue. The layered palate exhibits a wave of macerated blackberry, black licorice, cedar, nutmeg, dark chocolate and lavender oil. Drinking well now this wine will also age well in the cellar for many years to come
It's Texas of course: Ribs!
Beef Short Ribs
Young Inglewood Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Extensive research and good fortune led us to a prized Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard rooted in some of Napa's most coveted soil. We nurtured the vineyard with organic practices focused on vine balance, and produced our first wine - a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon - in a converted barn with an old hand-cranked press.
The vineyard was first planted in the late 1870s, and, except during Prohibition, it has been almost continuously under vine ever since. Today, Young Inglewood is a tapestry of gently sloping organic vineyards, verdant gardens, and stately 150plus-year old heritage oaks, the perfect setting for our French country style winery.
Owners Jim and Jacky Young retired from a long career running a software company they founded, Sirsi Corporation. When they purchased the Inglewood estate in 2007, it had 18 acres of vineyards planted to Bordeaux varietals. The vineyard is now being farmed organically and sustainably. The 2009 Cabernet was their first release. Their son Scott is the winemaker, with assistance from consultant Jennifer Williams (former winemaker at Spottswoode). A state-of-the-art winery has been built on their property. Sister label VENN is a Cabernet Sauvignon first produced in 2013.
"dark chocolate, mocha, herbs..."
On the nose and palate are black and blue fruits, dark chocolate, mocha, herbs and a hint of molasses and gingerbread with a lingering finish.
Meat & Potatoes
Lamb steak with rosemary and side of gratin Daphinoise Potatoes
Quill Cabernet Sauvignon
DIAMOND MOUNTAIN, NAPA VALLEY
Owner Shana Graham has put together a signature collection of four all-mountain wines, which are each 100% of their respective varietals. Grapes are selected from four prime mountain vineyards. Winemaker Ehren Jordan oversees wine production. The winery holds back their wines until they believe they are ready to drink. 2011 is the current release.
"plum and dried spices..."
Plum, cassis, clove and dried spices are apparent on both the nose and palate.
Room for shrooms!
Prime Beef Burger with portobello mushrooms and asparagus
Corison Cabernet Sauvignon
ST. HELENA, NAPA VALLEY
In 1987, Cathy Corison began to purchase great Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from prime benchland vineyards between Rutherford and St. Helena, intent on making powerful and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon that speaks of place. These well-drained alluvial soils had a long history of producing balanced, age-worthy, world-class wines, reaching back to the late 19th century. In her early years everything was done with smoke and mirrors, using purchased fruit and space in others’ wineries.
In 1995, with the purchase of Kronos Vineyard, a property that had been a farm for over a century, there was finally an estate vineyard and a place to build a winery. In the spring of 1999, they broke ground to build their stately Victorian-style winery barn, designed by Cathy’s husband, William Martin. Their second estate vineyard, Sunbasket, a stone’s throw from the winery, was purchased in 2015 after sourcing it for over 25 years.
Cathy’s winemaking journey began nearly 45 years ago when she took a wine appreciation course at Pomona College on a complete whim. She fell in love with wine for all the usual reasons, but, as a Biology major, was also taken by the fact that wine is the result of a fascinating collaboration among a series of living systems. Two years later she graduated, and two days after that, arrived in the Napa Valley, bent on making wine. A master’s degree in Enology at UC Davis followed, and then a harvest internship at Freemark Abbey in 1978. Winemaking positions included Yverdon in 1979-1980 and then Chappellet Vineyard for the 1980’s. In 1987, toward the end of her tenure at Chappellet, there was a wine inside her that needed to get out and she began to buy grapes and barrels (instead of cars and houses). Using other wineries’ excess capacity while continuing to moonlight at Staglin, York Creek and Long Meadow Ranch, Corison Winery was born.
The images on the Corison labels are inspired by old life symbols based on rain and a sprouting seed. They embellished vases excavated from the site of one of the earliest European cultures to cultivate grapes and make wine over 7,000 years ago.
"dense, rich, layered dark fruit flavors..."
The cornerstone of Corison Winery since its founding in 1987, it is sourced from three great benchland vineyards between Rutherford and St. Helena. It has long been prized for power, elegance and longevity. The 2017 speaks eloquently of its growing season with dense, rich, layered dark fruit flavors including black raspberries, dried cherries, dark plums, cassis and boysenberries, set off by the snappy natural acidity that is a hallmark of Corison Cabernets. It is wildly complex, with baking spice and anise notes joining dried Herbs de Provence and hints of peppermint. Floral perfume is already in evidence with rose petals, violets and lavender chiming in. It feels like silk velvet on the palate. - Winery Notes
A succulent red with currants and fine, lightly dusty tannins. Medium to full body. Cedar and hazelnuts at the finish. Extremely refined and delicious. Drink now or hold. 94 points James Suckling
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon slowly unfurls to reveal a beautiful nose of warm redcurrants, black raspberries and blackcurrant pastilles with an undercurrent of violets, fragrant soil and cinnamon stick. The medium-bodied palate is elegant and refreshing, delivering elegantly styled and yet wonderfully vibrant red and black fruits flavors, finishing with an energetic herbal lift. 92 points Wine Advocate
The old school rusticity of Corison Cabernet will pair perfectly with a hearty short rib stew, cooked to perfection for 3-4 hours in a Dutch oven. The elegance of the Cabernet would even pair well with Coq Au Vin.
Figgins Estate Red Wine
WALLA WALLA VALLEY, WA
Figgins is the project of veteran winemaker Chris Figgins, best known for being the winemaker at his family winery Leonetti Cellar. Although he could easily have been content carrying on Leonetti’s stellar track record as one of the best wineries in Washington, Chris wanted a project that would be all his own. With that in mind he created the Figgins vineyard, a 32-acre plot of land in Walla Walla planted to Cabernet, Merlot, and Petite Verdot.
Inspired by the estate wineries of the old world, all of these grapes go into making one wine, with the goal of exploring this single terroir. The winemaking is the same each year and therefore the only variables on this wine are what the vintage provides. The blend changes subtly each year in response to the unique conditions of that season, thus encapsulating and translating a time and place in the way that only wine can do. Chris is the second generation of Walla Walla’s first bonded winery, and rather than just holding steady he is intent on refining and improving the already revered reputation of his family. At Figgins and Leonetti, Chris is producing some of the greatest wines in the United States and, though he is already well on his way to a long and venerable career, this is merely the beginning.
"intoxicating nose of baking spices, cherry compote, wild roses, cassis and caramel apple..."
The fruit is all from Figgins Estate Vineyard, which is planted to several clones each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot. Aged 20 months in French oak: 60% new, 40% second-fill.
Figgins Estate Vineyard is the highest elevation Bordeaux variety vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley. Our position up Mill Creek lends itself to ideal autumn ripening, even in especially warm years like 2015. This vintage was the earliest harvest in our history, but retained a delicious balance between acidity and tannin due in part to the high elevation. This wine is what I imagined our exceptional site to be capable of producing when I bought the land and designed the vineyard over 15 years ago. Rich in color, the wine entices you with an intoxicating nose of baking spices, cherry compote, wild roses, cassis and caramel apple. Layer upon layer of perfectly ripe red and black fruits and silky tannin engage the palate. I have not been this excited about a FIGGINS release since my inaugural vintage in 2008!
Bright medium ruby. Aromas of black raspberry and sexy oak spices convey excellent depth and musky sweetness. Plush, sweet and very ripe, and distinctly broad for this normally more linear bottling from a high-altitude site. With its densely packed black raspberry fruit and firm tannic spine, I'd give this at least a few more years in the cellar to lose some baby fat and absorb a bit of its alcoholic warmth. But even today there are no rough edges. 93 points Vinous
Ripe dark cherries with attractive, brambly forest berries and bracken, too. The palate has a fresh, lithe and attractively grainy tannin core that delivers a plush and ripe dark-berry finish. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot and merlot. Drink or hold. 93 points James Suckling
Beef... it's what's for dinner!
With such a young and muscular wine, a beautiful Sirloin with plenty of fat on the edges will be a great pairing to stand up to the Figgins Estate! A favorite way to cook the sirloin is on the stove top in a ripping-hot cast iron. A couple of minutes before you pull the steak off, add some butter and rosemary into the skillet, quickly spooning it over the steak between flips. Delicious!
Who's Making These Great Selections?
Clare Gillette joined Classic in 2017 as our Director of Wine Sales to manage and grow the wine merchants operations for all three of our Classic locations. Before moving to Texas, Clare spent a significant time in the wine importing and distribution side of the business working with some of the most sought out, collector-worthy wineries and portfolios from all over the world. It was during college that she caught the wine bug, leading her to graduate with a Viticulture & Enology degree and to pursue Sommelier studies.
From Willamette to Burgundy, the Rhone Valley to Napa, or Piedmont to Champagne, Clare has travelled to meet winemakers and visit iconic vineyards as a forever student of the vine. Her expertise and relationships in the wine industry have been integral in elevating our Classic wine community and providing a higher level of value and service to you as our client.
Chester brings over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Chester has worked in Fort Worth since 2003 where he spent 11 years as a sommelier at Del Frisco’s. That experience and level of customer service led Chester to spend the next handful of years creating experiences and finding hard-to-get wines for clients at Kent & Co. Wines and Ellerbe Fine Foods. During this time he also started a cellar management business that allowed him to organize, manage and stock cellars from 200 to 90,000 bottles.
As his consecutive, five-time award of "Fort Worth’s Best Wine Expert" by Fort Worth Magazine can attest to, Chester's level of expertise combined with years of concierge style customer service will help elevate your experience as a client with us.