1100 CASES PRODUCED 18 MONTHS IN 30% NEW FRENCH OAK
2012 is the first of the drought vintages – a dry summer followed by a dry fall, followed by the best Cabernets we have ever made. The Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet is a blend of fruit from all three of our vineyards: Red Winery, Pyramid, and Stone. The Alexander Valley Estate Cab is composed of about two dozen lots of Cabernet harvested throughout the month of October. Each lot is crushed, fermented, and aged separately, then blended, barrel by barrel. The nose is all fresh berries, ripe and lush, and the texture is soft and round on the mid-palate, then closed and dusty on the finish; it’s ripe but delicate. Like many of my favorite Cabernets, there’s something paradoxical about it – very powerful, but very delicate as well. The 2012 will show drastic improvement with a few years in the cellar and will last for at least another ten years after that.
The 2015 Home Chardonnay comes from our vineyard on Chalk Hill Road, first planted in 1972. It’s a fabulous site for Chardonnay, and since we started making this wine in 2005, we have honed a technique to produce Chardonnay that represents the exceptional character of the vineyard, leaving out the things we don’t like in most California versions of this varietal. Our Chardonnay is made without any new barrels or malolactic fermentation. Defined foremost by its freshness – bright, crisp, and fruit-driven – the 2015 is a bit younger and brighter than recent vintages. The aroma ranges from honey to lemon peel to mango. There’s a ton of citrus in the finish too, along with the signature minerality of this aptly named vineyard.
350 CASES PRODUCED
18 MONTHS IN 25% NEW FRENCH OAK
The 2013 is our twelth vintage of Merlot and every bottling has been a single vineyard, 100% varietal from our Red Winery Vineyard, first planted in 1973. This Merlot is just over 14% alcohol, on the high side for this wine, and I find it unusually open and drinkable for being so young. Moreover, there’s very little evidence of oak influence at work; this wine is all about the fruit, and the fruit is lovely – black cherry, blueberries, violets, baking spices. Drink now through 2026.
Retail Price: $45.00
Wine Club Price: $38.25
Retail Price: $108.00
Wine Club Price: $91.80
2015 ALEXANDER VALLEY
Wine Club Price $21.25
2015 VIN GRIS
150 CASES PRODUCED
5 MONTHS IN NEITRAL FRENCH OAK
Introducing our 2015 Vin Gris. We only made about 150 cases of this bone-dry rosé, made from a one-acre block of Tempranillo on our Red Winery Vineyard. It’s pale fuchsia, it smells like white flowers, and finishes with a beautiful citrus note.
Pink wine, in my book, is the golden ring of winemaking, not because I love to drink it, but because it’s hard to make and doesn’t hide mistakes. Moreover, it allows for a good deal of personal interpretation. What matters most to me in a pink wine is the color, the aroma, and the finish. I like it to smell fresh and floral, be bright and clean in the glass, and finish with plenty of refreshing acidity. I hope our 2015 Vin Gris does all that.
Retail Price: $25.00
Wine Club Price: $21.25 + free delivery with 6 bottle order
Wine Club Only Scheduled Release Summer 2017
2013 PYRAMID CABERNET SAUVIGNON
300 CASES PRODUCED 24 MONTHS IN 30% NEW FRENCH OAK
The Pyramid is a winemaker’s darling of a vineyard. It is named for its steep, terraced front hill, but the whole place is rocky and rugged with spectacular views in every direction: Knights Valley to the east, Chalk Hill to the west and south, and Alexander Valley to the north. The steepness and exposure of the vineyard lead the Pyramid Single Vineyard Cabernet to be dark and intense every vintage. The 2012 is nearly black and surprisingly generous for how young it is. After a few minutes in the glass, the nose is bursting with Santa Rosa plum and crushed blackberry. It hits the palate with layers of sweet and savory: black olive, burned beef, plum jam. Amazing freshness, and although very tannic, more drinkable than I would have thought.
WINE CLUB ONLY: $63.75
1.5L Magnum WINE CLUB ONLY: $153 member price
2013 RED WINERY
Wine Club Only
Wine Club Price: $63.75
2013 RED WINERY CABERNET SAUVIGNON
315 CASES PRODUCED 24 MONTHS IN 30% NEW FRENCH OAK
When I consider the wines of our past that show a combination of great finesse and ageability, the 2003 Red Winery Cabernet always finds its way to the front of my mind. That 2003 Cabernet, the first vineyard designate we ever made, shows a great deal of similarity to the same wine from the same vineyard made ten years later. Even though it’s years from being ready to drink, the 2013 Red Winery is already incredibly voluptuous and mouth-filling. The same cherry and baking spice that I detect in this wine every year are there in the 2013, but both the spice and fruit character come across as darker and more brooding: black cherry, allspice, a touch of dark chocolate. This wine shows well right now and will continue to improve for ten years.
600 CASES PRODUCED 24 MONTHS IN 30% NEW FRENCH OAK
The Stone Vineyard is so named for two reasons: my mom’s maiden name is Stone, and the ground in which the vineyard grows is almost all rock. My mom and dad planted it in 1972, right at the southwestern edge of Alexander Valley – a relatively cool site for Cabernet. In a warm year like 2013, the wines from this vineyard shine. The tannic backbone and herbaceous, briary character that are the signature of this vineyard are there in 2013, accompanied by a ripeness and richness rarely achieved in past vintages. Plan, as usual, to hold this wine for a while. While the 2013 is more accessible than most vintages from this field, there is a roughness in the rocky soil that translates in the wine. It has a salty, mineral character, even in its ripest vintages, that makes the lushness of the wine more compelling and also makes it last.