1st Bottle Red: 2017 Method, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

For the wine snob: Organic vineyard, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa Valley. Aged 18 months in 100% French Oak, 50% New French Oak. Proprietor and vintner Trevor Sheehan started his journey to create a top wine collection when he became a winemaker ten years ago. His first wines were eight barrels of Chardonnay from the Beckstoffer Vineyard and Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain.  Trevor carefully defined his own wine making style over the years drawing inspiration from fellow winemakers such as Nils Venge and Henri Jayer.

 

For the rest of us: The diverse sources of this Cabernet Sauvignon exemplify the Napa Valley terroir. The strong, traditional bouquet layers notes of ripe black cherry, dark cassis, aromatic violets, and savory curry spices rooted by earthy undertones. With clean fruit throughout the palate, this medium-bodied wine has well-structured tannins balanced by a nuance of toffee and caramel oak influence.

1st Bottle White: 2017 Sea Slopes, Fort Ross Winery, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

For the wine snob: The 2017 growing season welcomed generous rainfall for the first several months of the year. After five drought years the soils were hydrated and our irrigation pond was brimming. A warmer than usual spring brought an early fruit-set. During the first week of September, all of California experienced a heat spike, but temperatures then mellowed during the remainder of harvest, allowing the fruit to be picked at the ideal time. The grapes for this Chardonnay were hand-sorted to include only the finest fruit, which was then gently pressed. Fermentation occurred in the ideal combination of stainless steel for vibrancy and freshness and French oak barrels which adds great texture and length to the finish.

 

For  the rest of us: 100% Chardonnay, Fragrant aromas of zesty lemon with notes of honeysuckle and white grapefruit are immediately evident, followed by a pleasing mineral character and a touch of toasted brioche. On the palate it is fresh and lively with pronounced citrus tones and hints of white peach and apricot.

2nd Bottle Red: 2016 Homefield, Red Blend, Dry Creek Valley, California

For the wine snob: Adam Sbragia, 4th generation winemaker, launches new brand with Dry Creek Valley red blend. Home Field’s debut wine is a red blend made from five grape varieties grown in 6 different vineyards. Zinfandel-driven blend, this has sizable components of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carignan and Petite Sirah too.

 

For the rest of us: 51% Zinfandel, 8% Carignane, 4% Petite Sirah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot. The texture of wine, its infinite range of aromas and flavors is all tangled up with soil and climate and history and culture, a spectacular mash-up of people and place, wit and wisdom and everyday life. The whole adding up to a spicy, herbal and juicy offering of tart red fruit. Generous oak and moderate tannin give it powerful smoothness and lasting richness.

2nd Bottle White: Duck Hunter, Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand 2018

For the wine snob:  100% Sauvignon Blanc, Our grapes are proudly 100% sustainably accredited from vineyard to bottle. Ensuring best practice to protect New Zealand’s environment and provide quality assurance for our consumers. Sourced exclusively from the acclaimed Marlborough region of New Zealand. The grapes are predominately from the Wairau Valleys sub region Waihopai Valley and the Eradus Vineyard in the Awatere Valley. Careful blending from these two Marlborough sub regions gives our Sauvignon Blanc perfect balance. It mixes the passion fruit and melon characteristics of the wetter & warmer Wairau Valley region with its stony free draining soils, with the contrast of the cooler and drier sea air influenced Awatere Valley, famous for its crisper style and minerality.

 

For the rest of us: Bursting with ripe passionfruit, stone fruit, peach, Meyer lemon and poached pear flavors show plenty of intensity, but also a sense of polish, with a touch of freshly grated ginger and a hint of saline that lingers on the refreshing finish, adding a savory detail.

Reserve Bottle Red: Capiaux Cellars Chimera Pinot Noir

For the wine snob: Sean Capiaux founded Capiaux Cellars in 1994 with the intention of producing small lot, single vineyard bottlings of Pinot Noir, one of the noblest and most difficult varieties to produce. Over the past few decades, Sean has established an impressive career at prominent wineries around the globe. He graduated from California State University with an enology degree in the late ‘80s and began his career at Jordan Winery in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. Sean then traveled to Perth, Australia to assist with winemaking at Houghton Winery, later returning to the U.S. to gain notable experience at Peter Michael and Pine Ridge in California as well as Macari, Jamesport and Schneider in Long Island. In 2000, Betty O’Shaughnessy recruited Sean for her new O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery, where he remains today as president and winemaker, while continuing to produce his Capiaux Cellars Pinot Noir.

 

For the rest of us: Chimera is medium dark red to purple in color with a vibrant purple hue leads into perfumed aromas of dark berries, crème cherry and raspberry with a light vanilla oak note. Nicely integrated with red cherry fruit, pomegranate, and strawberry preserve. Chimera has a medium weight and tannins with a silky texture and a candied fruit finish.

Reserve Bottle White: NV Champagne Jacquart, Mosaïque Extra-Brut, France

For the wine snob: 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot noir, 25% Meunier. 30 small families, mainly from the Cote des Blancs where Chardonnay dominates, founded Jacquart, the original “grower champagne”, in 1962. The early days were difficult but the small co-op had a big leader and before long growth and expansion took place. Jacquart’s ascendancy is a major success story in the history of modern Champagne. By the year 2000 the 30 small grower’s had swelled to a hearty 700 and the company joined the powerful Alliance Group making Jacquart part of the largest land owning grower’s co-op in the region, controlling 7% of the appellation’s total. The house style leans toward Chardonnay and emphasizes an intentional low dosage. This results in friendly wines that are fresh and balanced with firm structures and fine flavors.  Champagne Jacquart has built its reputation on delivering value. This model has driven rapid international expansion making Jacquart one of the most visible contemporary Champagne brands.

 

For the rest of us: Pale yellow with tints of white gold and a stream of fine bubbles. Aromas of fresh pear, fig and almond, with hints of orange blossom. A light swirl of the glass brings out richer notes of honey and freshly baked bread. Fresh and supple. Full, with a long fruity finish.

2nd Reserve Bottle Red: Tether Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

For the wine snob: A blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Malbec, aged 18 months in 50% new French oak. Winemaker Anna Monticelli studied viticulture in France, was at Chateau Cheval-Blanc for the near perfect 2000 vintage and when she returned to Napa, was Assistant winemaker at Bryant Family for 5 years. She is currently the winemaker at Piña and for her own projects (Ilaria!) in California and Italy with her husband. Sourced from meticulously farmed vineyards in Yountville, Calistoga and St. Helena, the second release of this blend has a deep ruby color with complex aromas of black cherry, blackberry and graphite.  Rich and lush on the palate with  flavors of ripe black plum, dark berry fruit, baking spice and cassis.   The long finish is layered with beautiful concentration and silky tannin.

 

For the rest of us: Tether Cabernet Sauvignon bursts from the glass with luscious aromas of black currants, blackberries, black cherries and blueberry compote. The gorgeous dark fruit core is complemented by layers of volcanic rock, spring flowers, graphite, mocha and well-integrated French oak. The wine possesses a rich texture that coats the palate in velvety tannins, sweet ripe fruit and elegant toasty oak.