We are pleased to be the proprietors of these rare wines. We only made 50 cases of each wine, and both sold out long ago. Every once in a while we are alerted to a eBay private sale. Virtually all of this wine has gone to private collectors. We continue to work with our growers and winemaker to source future releases from vintages that meet our standards and secure the exact flavor profile of our original releases.
The label was a sketch of my wife, Bridget, by Melissa Young, the Kansas City-born daughter of my life-long and trusted best friend, James “Trip” Young and his wife Sherri.
The wine is Napa fruit, and the wines were sourced under confidentiality agreements with three of California’s top wineries, with the other two varietals coming from very small lots from friends.
The wine was made from blending some very fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and some very tannic Petit Verdot, with some small percentages of peppery Cabernet Franc and chocolaty Malbec. All the grapes are from different vineyards. Both vintages of this wine are big, bold, rich and powerful, and done in the fruit-forward style famous in California – with an emphasis on layered black fruit flavors. The 2011 has more Cabernet Franc and the 2012 has more Petit Verdot and Malbec – that’s the subtle difference, leaving a slightly more white pepper finish in the 2011 and a slightly more chocolate finish in the 2012. Many tell us that they are nearly identical, and that was the goal, which wasn’t easy given the distinct characteristics of the two vintages. 2011 saw cool and damp weather which delayed ripening, threatening acidity levels (but luckily not for these wines); 2012 was a great vintage with steady heat and cool nights, which accentuated acidity. The slightly higher acidity in the 2012 is noticeable with richer, marbled meat dishes.
For bottles opened through 2016, we recommended a minimum of 1 hour air with a decant, or 3-4 hours air if you don’t decant. In fact, tried one “blind bag” with some friends at a dinner party after 8 hours air, and my dinner guests preferred it to a same vintage, very well-known French Bordeaux. The air balances the tannins and eventually brings out the supple, silkiness of the top-quality Merlot in the blend. Without the air, it starts wound and fruity, and tastes almost identical to a spoonful of blackberry jam. The sweetness moves off within the first hour of air, and the earthiness of the Cab Franc and the spice of the Petit Verdot appear in that second hour. At about that time, the silkiness of the Merlot starts to infuse through the wine, just as we’d hoped. The dark, brooding color atones to the Malbec; and the subtle chocolate finish in the 2012 is classic Malbec; the white pepper in the 2011 is classic Cabernet Franc. The back label describes how and why these developments were intended. We would welcome your feedback. Enjoy!
Chris Celentino, Proprietor