So proud of Rebecca George and the wines she is producing @Mojavewines☝🏼Her 2016 Monument Tree Pinot Noir is now available! 🔸🔸🔸 “One of Napa Valley’s most promising young winemakers” - Antonio Galloni @vinousmedia 🔸🔸🔸 Mojave is sourced from the "deep end" of Anderson Valley. The vineyard location is just 10 miles from the Mendocino Coast where foggy nights are followed by warm, sunny days. It’s an ideal location for growing varietally expressive Pinot Noir. 🔸🔸🔸 Beginning with the 2015 vintage, Rebecca started sourcing Pinot Noir from the majestic Monument Tree Vineyard. Monument Tree was planted in 1999, has north-eastern sloping exposure, and soils that are a mix of loamy clay and decomposed sandstone. 🔸🔸🔸 Altogether these factors yield the style of cool climate Pinot that Rebecca adores: earthy, almost herbaceous notes that complement a fruity core of bright, bing cherry and wild blackberry. 🔸🔸🔸 The 2016 season started off with a slightly early budbreak. Summer temperatures were even and moderate with a cool, foggy August. The cool summer allowed for slow and steady development of flavors and tannins. Grapes were harvested between September 10th and 13th. 🔸🔸🔸 For the 2016 vintage she harvested a 50/50 mix of Clones 777 and 115. The fruit-forward and more robust character of 777 combined with the nuanced and structural nature of 115 were the combination she was seeking. Both lots were fermented in 1 ton bins with 10% whole clusters. Post fermentation, the wines spent 15 months aging in 20% new French oak, 20% stainless steel, and 60% once and twice used French oak barrels. 🔸🔸🔸 The 2016 Mojave shows a bit more power than the 2014 and 2015 vintages. The freshness and concentration of the 2016 vintage, combined with stem inclusion and a touch more new oak yielded a wine with more substance and structure. On the nose, this wine shows confectionary notes of black cherry and vanilla, with hints of dried sage and toasty barrel spice. The palate is juicy and precise at entry. Black plum and bing cherry flavors show up front. A vibrant core of acidity balances the fine-grained tannin profile, and highlights the expressive, elegant finish.
Flashback to Tuesday night w/ new friendships, old wine and some insanely fine home-cooking 🥘 ~ Thanks again @chef3939 @kellyeharden707 and my lovely Ides of March Birthday Bride @bjoyous for the week of celebration 🍾 🎉🍾🎉🍾
👨🌾 Release Day | Vintage 2015 ~ Any takers? 🔸🔸🔸 Vineyard Manager Michael Wolf: “The winter preceding the 2015 vintage was very dry, with Rutherford receiving 13 inches of rain. Although budbreak was earlier than historic averages, fortunately the vineyard did not experience any frost damage. 2015 was a very warm growing season, with lower yields, marked by several severe heat events. Various canopy management and irrigation strategies were employed to both protect the fruit from heat damage and to allow it to ripen fully. Overall yields at the J.J. Cohn Estate were below average, and the hot summer led to an early start to harvest. Harvesting between heat events, and having the patience to wait until the fruit was fully ripe was a challenge, requiring great discipline and the ability to react and respond quickly. Celia as usual rose stunningly to the occasion. Harvest began on September 4th, and extended to September 21st to get the best quality fruit possible out of each of the individual blocks.” 🔸🔸🔸 Winemaker Celia Welch: “Although the crop was, overall, much smaller than several prior years, The wine offers very showy aromas of black cherry, warm raspberries and a hint of warm toasty vanilla, with undertones of sweet earth and tobacco. Consistent with our best vintages, the entry is broad and velvety, with tannins that are polished enough to enjoy now but a structure that promises good things to those who possess the patience to wait. The finish delivers all the juiciness promised by that intensely fruit-driven nose, and the power and backbone that provide balance.” 🔸🔸🔸 Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti-Brown: “Make no mistake, it is fullbodied and decadently powerful, but with a myriad of aromatic nuances, finishing long, layered and boldly perfumed. 99 Pts (WA)
To-Kalon: “The place of highest beauty” | a.k.a. The Boss Vineyard | Monastery Block | My midday escape on Saturday to discuss a new wine project and future legacy vineyard inspired me to venture off route and briefly step back in time. The story of To-Kalon is somewhat mind boggling. Although it has evolved in size and scope, changed hands often, been embattled with trademark disputes and likely will continue to be questioned throughout the next few vintages, what remains true are these vines. Years ago they bore into ancient riverbeds, studded with gravel, on lands that slope gently toward the Mayacamas Mountains. They continue to produce deep, rich and age worthy wines. These photos were taken at Mondavi’s Monastery Block. Here the Carmelite House of Prayer (where monks still reside today) towers over the land. I was fortunate to work with fruit from this block during the 2017 vintage. For me, Tank 20 was always memorable. Was it the Mondavi connection? The history involved? Perhaps, it was the ability to take a glimpse into its future? Maybe. Truth might say this is all just fluff and the wines were simply stated...damn good. My greatest hope is that in due time I’ll get the chance to relive these moments and spark conversation while pulling the cork of a finished bottle. If you enjoy reading about history, do yourself a favor and read Matt Stamp’s article titled, The True Story of To-Kalon Vineyard. A temporary link is in my bio. @guildsomm @sommambulism 🔹🔹🔹 Two 📸’s: of historical documents & vines during growing season by Mason Trinca (SF Chronicle)
That moment when you realize you have the very best Napa neighbors! Tonight’s delivery (along with several jars of homemade bone broth) included the 2006 vintage of Chateau Barde Haut. You’ll currently find this on the BTG menu at The French Laundry in Yountville. Barde Haut is one of the best values in all of Bordeaux. A BIG THANK YOU goes out to these wonderful friends that allowed us to briefly escape to St-Émilion 🇫🇷 for the evening. 🔹🔸🔹 Chateau Barde Haut is a 17 hectare Estate located at the extreme east of the village of St-Émilion. The soil is mainly clay which is found upon a layer of chalk. Roughly 3/4 of the vineyard is planted to Merlot and the remaining 1/4 is Cabernet Franc. 🔹🔸🔹 Over the past few years there have been significant investments made to renovate the vineyards and cellars at Barde Haut. 🔹🔸🔹 It is the exceptional soil, the introduction of natural winemaking, growing technologies and the combination of tradition and modernity that have made Chateau Barde Haut one of the rising stars of St-Émilion.
Built To Last: I have always been intrigued by the wines of @hanzellfarm . Perhaps it’s due to the fact that every bottle I had experienced to date was from a prior decade (80’s, 90’s, or 00’s). When I recently learned I was missing out on a “wine night” in Tahoe, @janartphoto did what any true wine friend would do and offered to capture the moment. He filled a sample bottle (a trick I’ve been sharing for years), sealed it and made sure it arrived in Napa shortly after. Thanks @bjoyous for handling the delivery. The 2010 is certainly young, yet enticing and nuanced. The wine simply needed time to open in the glass before hitting its stride. The bright acidity and firm tannins offered an intricate dance that was savory and simply delicious. I always love how wine is shared and my hope is that I’ll be doing just that with many, many more past & future vintages of Hanzell. Don’t miss your shot to do the same! 🔹🔹🔹 The first vines of Hanzell were planted in 1953. Chardonnay from the Wente Clone and Pinot Noir from the Matin Ray Clone. Over the years, these vines have evolved and ultimately created a distinct Hanzell clonal selection. The Ambassador's Vineyard, is the oldest continually producing vineyard of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the New World (65 yrs of world class California grape growing). 🔹🔹🔹 The house style is consistent and has always been Burgundian in style. French oak and stainless-steel tanks. 🔹🔹🔹 Hanzell Chardonnays often hold up for 20 years or more. Their Pinot Noir also has a staying power that begs to be cellared!
When I asked Mike Wolf, who has farmed some of Napa’s finest vineyards, if he has any favorites...Vine Hill Ranch (VHR) was at the very top of his list. Given this site, these wines and the history of this place, I feel fortunate to have the cellar stocked with bottles from several prior vintages. I watched their evolution in the winery, barrel and bottle from 2013-2016 and can’t wait to see this brand gain the attention it deserves. Their 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon has just been released! Get it while you can 😉
About last night...the journey...not necessarily the destination. Clearly #imnotachef but I attempt to be #alioeoliopasta #chefmovie #biritebook #lemonykalecaesarsalad #toomuchparsley #sorrywife 🔹🔹🔹 It’s been a month of opening old and classic Napa whites. Here is the 2007 Beringer Sbragia Limited Release #Chardonnay #oakville (WE94, RP92, WS92) #edsbragia 🔹🔹🔹 Gamble Ranch Vineyard - A ripe vintage with intense and rich fruit. Ed Sbragia aged each lot separately for nine months in 💯% new French oak. Malo and weekly lees stirring encouraged integration and sheer decadence. A bit past its prime but enjoyable nonetheless. Would have loved to taste this over the last 11yrs and watched its evolution first hand.
When @bjoyous arrived with this gifted bottle on Thursday eve, my mind instantly wondered back to one of our very first #napavalley visits together at @inglenook1879 🔹🔹🔹 I reached back into the archives and found some photos from that beautiful and chilly spring day. It was almost a decade ago (March 2008) and little did we know of the journey that was about to begin #everybottlehasastory 🔹🔹🔹 I’m an absolute sucker for the historical & classic #wines of #napa 🔹🔹🔹 #historic #inglenook #rutherford #cabernetsauvignon #rubicon #napavalleythenandnow
#Budbreak 2018: After walking in the vineyards this past week, I was hesitant to acknowledge that the buds were swelling on the vines. This morning, February 16th, @napa_valley_grapegrowers made it official and we received word that the 2018 growing season has arrived. Weeks of unseasonably warm and dry weather in Napa have awoken the vines from their winter slumber. 🔹🔹🔹 Although just a minuscule percentage thus far (est. 2-5% of Chardonnay), all attention will be on the weather, the cold front approaching and protective systems like wind 💨 machines & sprinklers 💦 that can can help these vulnerable vines if frost settles in. 🔹🔹🔹 #herewego #napavalley #grapegrowing #hugyourfarmer #winemaking #vineyardwalk
So torn on what to think right now | ☀️☀️78° in Napa ☀️☀️ | Winter?