Cotiere “Deriv􏰑e” Red Blend 2017

Napa Valle􏰒y
$50 (Wine Clu􏰓b Reorder Price: $45)

A New World wine with an homage to its Old World origins, Co􏰕tie􏰖re is a low-production, one-man winery that is the reali􏰗ation of owner Kevin Law’s dream that began with his college wine epiphany. He produces small amounts of wine from about twenty-four di􏰘erent vineyards in Santa Barbara County with a total annual production of about 2,000 cases.

Kevin started the Bordeaux varietal program in 2008 with the fi􏰙rst use of Napa Valley fruit. The Cabernet Sauvignon is from the Lewelling Ranch Vineyard in Saint Helena, and the Merlot is from McKenz􏰗ie Mueller Vineyard in Los Carneros. They expanded their sourcing to Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from Santa Yne􏰗z Valley.

The fruit from these disparate vineyards works incredibly well together in this blend, a unique introduction to a wine that blends four Bordeaux varietals, from four di􏰘fferent vineyards located in three of California’s top growing regions! 􏰚It’s an entire showcase of California wine in a single bottle.

This blend is 51% Cabernet Franc (Santa Ynez􏰗), 27% Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley), and 22% Petit Verdot (Santa Ynez􏰗), aged 50% new oak for 20 months, this wine is un􏰙fined and unfiltered. Only 90 cases were produced.

􏰜This Red Bordeaux style cuv􏰝ee is a 50/50 blend of two iconic regions, Napa and Santa Ynez􏰗 Valley. The Cabernet Sauvignon is from St. Helena in Napa Valley and the Merlot of course is from the clay-based soils of Los Carneros. While the Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are both from our cooler and local regions right here in Santa Yne􏰗. The fi􏰙nal blend is 40% Cabernet Franc, 34% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, and to 􏰙finish it o􏰘ff – 10% Petit Verdot.􏰞

Vinous 93 points. Jeb Dunnuck 93 points.

Amy Ryan 􏰔– September 2021

Weatherborne Pinot Noir 2015

Sta. Rita Hills
$40 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $35)

Chris Carter was born to be a winemaker. Wine isn’t his second career. It’s not his hobby. He didn’t make money in tech or as a hedge fund investor. Winemaking is what he was meant to do. It’s his profession. He went to UC Davis at age eighteen to study wine and grapes and his only jobs have been in vineyards, labs and cellars. What is in the bottle is the result of years of work and when you crack open this bottle of Pinot, we think you’ll be able to appreciate that.

His grandfather, father, and uncles are all aviators so he too became a pilot. Winemaking, like flying, requires detail and precision, but instincts to handle the unexpected. Chris combined his love for wine with his passion for flying and traveled the world, from New Zealand to Oregon to Chile to Tasmania, learning how to make the best Pinot Noir possible. He says, “Flying taught me to read the weather. Farming taught me to plan for the weather.”

This Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir is mostly from John Sebastiano Vineyard, which is highly acclaimed for its top of the line Pinots. It’s really an amazing value at only $40 (think $60+ for other John Sebastiano Pinot Noirs).

A mouthful of character is what this is. Deep and brooding, yet lifted and delicate. Dark cherry and bramble with an incredible umami character filling out the mid-palate. Incredibly smooth. Only 350 cases were produced. We recommend pairing this pinot with a wild mushroom risotto.

“This easy-to-drink appellation blend, which is 88% from John Sebastiano Vineyard and 12% from La Encantada, shows lively raspberry and pomegranate on the nose along with hibiscus flowers, rose petal, sweet sage and light pine forest aromas. It’s lightweight on the palate, yet there is viscosity to the sip, where pomegranate-cranberry flavors meet with dried bergamot and Earl Grey tea. Simultaneously juicy and tart.“ 
– 92 Points, Wine Enthusiast

Taylor Morgan – August 2021

Lúnasa Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Calistoga, Napa Valley
$85 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $75)

Owned and operated by husband and wife, Jordan and Ciji Jeffries, we are the first wine store to sell their brand new wines! Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Jordan’s first exposure to the wine industry was at age 17 working as an intern for a small winery outside of Eugene. Taking the opportunity to learn as much as possible about all facets of the winemaking process, his experience solidified his interest in wine, ultimately taking him to UC Davis where he graduated with a degree in Viticulture and Enology.

With his sights set on Napa, Jordan moved to the valley and secured his first harvest internship following graduation. After a harvest spent abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Jordan returned to Napa where he continued to deepen his experience working under and alongside some of the region’s most accomplished winemakers (Thomas Rivers Brown & Philippe Melka just to name a few…). In addition to being the winemaker for Lúnasa, Jordan currently serves as the Director of Winemaking for Brasswood’s new custom crush facility located in Calistoga. Quite the resume!

Lúnasa is an ancient celebration signifying the beginning of harvest, with traces back as early as the 15th century in Ireland and Scotland, typically taking place in the month of August. During Lúnasa, “harvest knots” crafted from wheat were commonly exchanged as a token of love and courtship. The harvest knot represented on their label is known as a “Double Heart – Farmer’s Knot”, which symbolizes a couple’s loving union and a farmer’s promise to return at the end of harvest.

If you drink this 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon now I beg you to decant it and give it some time to breathe. Right out of the bottle you’re going to get a ton of oak flavors that need a little more time to integrate into the wine. With time, it will reveal a delicious wine that’s deep garnet in color with ruby hues, and has a subtle aroma of violet and cardamom. Initial notes of bing cherry on the palate open to a deep raspberry and currant body with a hint of white pepper. The tannins integrate to create a smooth, velvety mouthfeel with a long, delicate finish. As with any Napa Cab, pair this with your favorite red meats like Tri-Tip or Filet Mignon.

Taylor Morgan – August 2021

H•L•R Cellars “HellaNora” Malbec Blend 2018

Fountaingrove District, Sonoma County
$39 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $35)

H•L•R Cellars is a small boutique winery located in Eastern Sonoma County, established in 2012 by Steve and Joan Heller. We first met Steve Heller at a charity event where he was pouring his H•L•R Cellars wines to raise funds for local college scholarships. Winemaking was not, however, his life’s Plan A. After 34 years working at General Mills in Minneapolis, Steve wondered what he would do with himself when he retired. “I wanted to do something different. This is the second chapter,” Heller said.

When Steve and Joan found their 15 acre property in Sonoma County’s Fountaingrove District in 2007, it needed some serious love and elbow grease. The property hadn’t been updated much since the 1800s. There were blackberry brambles everywhere, and the surviving grape vines were in poor shape. There was, however, the foundation for a new winery – literally just a concrete slab with rebar poking out of the ground. Luckily, the couple had the imagination necessary to envision what it could become.

They had a lot of work to do – upgrading the farming equipment, grafting new Cabernet Sauvignon clones, replanting rootstock that had rotted through, and, of course, turning that concrete slab into a fully functioning winery. Their goal was to produce estate grown and bottled wines that are delightful expressions of the vineyard’s outstanding mountain location.

When they first started collecting wines, Steve says he “cut his teeth on Bordeaux” varietals. Now with their own winery, the Heller’s focus on the wines that initially inspired them: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec. I recently asked Steve while tasting through his 2018 releases why he didn’t make any white wine. He replied, “Well, if I plant new grape vines then I’ll have to call this a real business”. I laughed, because it seems to me like he is already running a substantial (and successful!) wine business.

Hella-Nora is a blend of estate grown Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. You’ll find purple and red fruits, plums and cherries. The fruit is pure, ripe, fleshy, and tangy. It’s extremely food friendly and can be enjoyed with beef, lamb, pork, grilled sausages, and grilled veggies. This vintage of Hella-Nora is wonderfully approachable and easy to enjoy today.

Taylor Morgan – August 2021

Five Vintners Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Napa Valley
$25 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $22)

Krisi Raymond represents the fifth generation in her family to grow grapes and make wine in the Napa Valley. Her family roots run deep, dating back to 1876 when her great-great- grandfather Jacob Beringer, together with his brother Frederick, established Beringer Brothers Winery just north of St. Helena.

The next generation continued to produce wine through Prohibition for medicinal and sacramental purposes. It was in 1933 with the repeal of Prohibition that Roy Raymond began his career in the wine industry at Beringer Brothers Winery. In 1936 he married Martha Jane Beringer, granddaughter of Jacob Beringer. Their two sons, Roy Jr. and Walter, continued the family’s winemaking tradition at Beringer Brothers Winery after attending college.

With their share of the proceeds from the sale of Beringer in 1970, the Raymond family purchased 90 acres of prime vineyard land south of St. Helena on Zinfandel Lane and founded Raymond Vineyards & Cellar. They planted a variety of wine grapes on the property and crushed their first vintage in 1974.

Nearly 30 years later in 2001, Krisi Raymond stepped out on her own as a grape grower and winemaker. With just one acre planted to Sauvignon Blanc and a handful of select grape growers she produces fine Napa Valley wines. Krisi focuses on her favorite varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc.

If you get lost in their extensive family tree like I did, just know that their family has been making wine in Napa for over 130 years. Their roots run deep and they know a thing or two about winemaking! I LOVE this Sauvignon Blanc because it is super clean and crisp with bright citrus flavors. It’s not too grassy or too grapefruity – just super easy sippin’ – plus it’s organic. Pair it with your next pool day.

Taylor Morgan – August 2021