Rutherford, Napa Valley
$38 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $26)
In 1983, Nancy and Ray Coursen arrived in California from Cape Cod to fulfill Ray’s dream of making wine and Nancy’s taste for adventure. After working harvest at Mt. Eden Winery in Saratoga, they moved to Napa Valley. In 1987, Ray and Nancy started the Elyse brand with 286 cases of Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard, which is still a cornerstone vineyard source for the winery. After a decade of nomadic winemaking at various custom crush facilities, in 1997 they purchased a small winery and vineyard on Hoffman Lane. In October 2018, Ray and Nancy sold Elyse Winery to fellow Yountville locals, Josh Peeples, and his partner, Cheryl. Perfect timing for both parties, the torch has been passed to continue the same passion for the decades to come. In addition, Josh brings his other brands Elyse, Standard Deviation, and Institution to the Elyse family of wines.
Located right in the heart of the Rutherford Bench’s alluvial fan, next to some of the most famous vineyards in all of Napa, the Morisoli Vineyard was first planted in 1880. The light, dusty, gravelly soil here produces grapes with vibrant flavor and impeccable balance. This famously “dusty” dirt is a harmonic convergence of ancient ocean floor, volcanic activity, and bedrock upthrust from seismic activity.
Elyse produces a Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel each year from this very special place in Napa Valley. In fact, Morisoli’s Old Vine Zinfandel, planted from 1902 to 1908, is still in production today. Elyse has been working with Morisoli Zinfandel and the Morisoli family since 1987.
“The 2016 Morisoli Zinfandel is a classic! It is cranberry red in color and blessed with a captivating nose of briar patch, orange zest, rose petals, mint, and baking spices. The medium-bodied palate is equally intriguing and expressive. Flavors of raspberry sorbetto and black plums are lifted by bright acidity and white pepper.” – Elyse Winery
675 cases produced, aged 10 1⁄2 months in 29% new American Oak.
81% Zinfandel, 19% Combination of Alicante Bouschet, Carignane, Durif, Grand Noir, Muscat Hamburg, Négrette Syrah, Valdiguié
Amy Ryan – December 2021