1st Bottle Red: Jax Y3 ‘Taureau’, Red Blend, Napa Valley

For the wine snob: The name “Taureau” was the name of the Jackson family’s prized bull, legendary for his feisty, high-kicking and vibrant personality. When perfecting this wine at their blending session, the JAX team concurred that the complex personality of their infamous bull reflected the complex structure and elements of this indulgent red blend… and what a perfect tribute to their family ranching legend. Our goal with this wine was to produce an approachable, everyday drinking wine with the high quality fruit sourced in Napa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon provides the backbone and structure of this wine while the lush fruit of the Merlot brings body, texture and balance to the blend. This year we added just a touch of Cabernet Franc which brings aromoas of raspberry, bell pepper, cassis and violets. This unique blend brings out the best of each varietal producing a food friendly wine ready to be paired with a range of foods.

For the rest of us: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 35% Merlot 5% Cabernet Franc.  Reflecting the dominating character of Taureau, this wine boasts incredible purple fruit colors, flavors of blackberry, black cherry and red on the palate, and all supported by polished tannins. Balanced and delicious.

1st Bottle White: Jax Y3, Chardonnay, Napa Valley

For the wine snob: Our Chardonnay grapes come from a single vineyard in Carneros that is influenced by the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean allowing for a long growing season. The grapes are fermented in French concrete tanks and aged in barrels 3+ years old. Fermenting Chardonnay in concrete like in Chablis enhances the aromatics of the varietal, increases the mineral characteristics and allows the flavor of the vineyard to be the star.

For the rest of us:100% Chardonnay. The Y3 Chardonnay begins with tropical finesse, fresh white fruit aromas and lingering notes of honeysuckle and sliced pear. The palate is clean with bright citrus and a tingling minerality. Neither pushy nor boastful, this Chardonnay will leave a lasting impression that is enjoyable.

2nd Bottle Red: Jax Y3, Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast

For the wine snob: The fruit was hand picked and gently processed using our state-of-the-art Pellenc sorting and destemming system. The pristine, whole berry fruit was fermented in a concrete tank fermenter. Time on skins lasted 15-30 days. The finished wine was aged in 35% new, tight grained, French Oak barrels for 22 months. We employ a variety of cooperages for our Bordeaux varieties including Boutes, Sylvain, Taransaud, Gamba, and Alain Foquet. All Jax wines are produced using 100% native spontaneous yeast. Bottled unflitered and unfined.

For the rest of us: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot. This wine is powerful, dense, but beautifully balanced and precise. The evocative nose of this wine is defined by true cassis, lush red currants and espresso. On the palate, there is a broad structure with textured flavors that are plush and full but with grace and elegance interwoven, supported with bright acidity and delicate tannins.

2nd Bottle White: Chehalem, Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

For the wine snob: The 2021 growing season was warmer than average in the Willamette Valley, producing beautifully ripe fruit with vibrant flavors. A dry spring led to lingering rain showers during bloom, which reduced the yield in some blocks. Then, an abnormal heatwave spread across the valley, with temperatures reaching as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, the fruit prospered as high temperatures occurred between bloom and veraison when berries were hard and less sensitive to damage. Temperatures tapered off prior to harvest, with warm days and cool nights, which allowed the fruit to ripen at an even and slower pace. Quick yet seemingly smooth, harvest started on August 21 with little to no breaks until we finished on September 26. The resulting wines are balanced with focused flavors, stunning fruit, gorgeous vibrancy, and incredible aging potential. 

For  the rest of us: 100% Pinot Noir. The aromatics are exciting, showing notes of honeydew and cantaloupe that intertwine with fresh summer strawberries and pink grapefruit zest. The palate is quenchable with a light but persistent vibrancy. The textured finish lingers with a kiss of richness that completes each sip. Warm breezes are calling, and this Rosé is ready to drink.

1st Reserve Bottle Red: Jax Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

For the wine snob: Our grapes are handpicked, sorted and cold-soaked immediately after picking. Following fermentation, this wine was aged for 21 months in French oak, 65-70% new. This wine offers dark, concentrated depth and character. Given a few minutes or hours after opening a bottle, the aromatics will continue to evolve and improve.

For the rest of us: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon 3% Cabernet Franc. The Jax Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is redolent of ripe black currants, plum preserves, and black cherry compote with touches of menthol, pencil lead, bay leaves, and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with crunchy black fruit flavors, supported by well-judged, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long with a minty kick.

1st Reserve Bottle White: Jax ‘Dutton Ranch’, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

For the wine snob: The berries were firm at harvest and therefore vivid, deep flavors, great acidity and excellent freshness. The wines will be very pure, with strong specific vineyard signatures. But moderate weather prevailed throughout summer. The lack of heat waves kept sugar levels and phenolic maturity in sync. Ripening progressed slowly and predictably. Winemaker Kirk Venge ages this wine in 30% new French oak over a period of 10 months, allowing the fruit’s characteristics to shine. The beautiful concentration of fruit flavors take on the richness from the French oak barrels while the wine’s balanced acidity maintains a crisp, bright palate.

For the rest of us: 100% Chardonnay. Sourced from Dutton Ranch’s Sebastopol vineyard, the JAX Chardonnay vines dwell in famed “moon dust” soil. This fine grain soil provides the perfect combination of excellent drainage and low yields. Winemaker Kirk Venge crafts a creamy mélange of apricot jam, crisp pear and vanilla flavors with a refreshing citrus acidity that keeps this wine fresh and lively on the palate.

2nd Reserve Bottle Red: Jax Estate, Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley

For the wine snob: Our grapes were handpicked, sorted and cold-soaked immediately. Following fermentation, this wine was aged for 21 months in 75% French oak. The Calistoga terroir shines through in the Cabernet Franc’s rich aromatics and long finish, all accompanied by the structured tannins and French oak accents. To satiate our Cabernet Franc enthusiasts, we crafted only 4 barrels of this lovely, drinkable yet age-worthy wine.   We call this “Our Vineyard Gem.”

For the rest of us: 100% Cabernet Franc. An impressive version of the variety, this wine is thick in black cherry and mocha flavors. The tannins are supple and elongated, adding complexity and structure to the juicy richness that is accented by toasted oak and cedar.

2nd Reserve Bottle White: Domaine Pernot Côte d'Or Bourgogne, Chardonnay, France

For the wine snob: The 2020 vintage has turned out quite nicely chez Domaine Paul Pernot, where the house style remains fleshy, giving and front-loaded. For now, the domaine’s wines are made in much the same way that they always have been: whole-cluster pressed, barrel fermented and matured for some 11 months, with bottling before the next harvest. After embracing DIAM wholeheartedly with the 2019 vintage, we’re now back to natural cork (of superior quality) for the higher appellations and DIAMs for the rest. 

For the Rest of us: 100% Chardonnay. This wine offers an expressive nose of white flowers, stone fruits and buttered bread notes. The mouth is mineral and elegant, and delicate toasty nuances bring extra length in the mouth alongside a fresh acidity and a good balance.