Lail Vineyards – A TRUE American Tale!

Lail House

Having been in the biz this long, I’m often guilty of wandering back to Europe when writing about California wines – I’ve even been called out on it… But this is a family’s story so deeply rooted in the vinous fabric of America that even I can’t think of anywhere else but Napa when sharing their story. Follow me now; this one has a lot of forks in the road… It all began in the late 19th century when Robin Lail’s Great Grand-Uncle Gustav Niebaum (ya’ the one and only!) built Inglenook Vineyards – talk about an American icon. By the turn of the 20th century, American wine had no rival. Niebaum’s Inglenook passed down to his Great-Nephew, John Daniel Jr. in 1936 after Prohibition, and Daniel Jr. would be the catalyst for bringing many of Niebaum’s dreams to life. Daniel Jr., along with Robert Mondavi, made the Napa Valley appellation a reality. The sale of Inglenook in the 1960s made history, as it signified a family’s legacy in the Napa Valley. Enter Robin Lail – John Daniel Jr.’s daughter. She inherited the Napanook Vineyard (again, ya’ the one and only!) and, after a brief hiatus, “went on to co-found Dominus in 1982 with her sister Marcia Smith and the brilliant winemaker Christian Moueix”. Pride of ownership beckoned (obviously) and after a successful run with Bill Harlan, Robin sold her portion of Dominus and Merryvale, hooked up with rock-star wine-maker Philippe Melka in 1998, and gave the world Lail Vineyards!Lail Logo

Check out the new releases here

Turley “The Label” Cabernet 2011 ~ The Zin Man “Actually Likes It”!


Christopher’s Wine Country Connection
Your Direct Source to Exclusive Offers from Wine Country


2011 TURLEY “The Label”Turley The Label

Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena
(92 points): Outstanding; Tanzer

~ “Larry Turley bought this property next to his winery north of St. Helena in 2009 and promptly pulled out the merlot and replanted it to cabernet sauvignon

~ “Aged in one-third new oak, vs. 20% for the zinfandels here; tasted from tank a day or two prior to bottling…

~ “Good full red.  Nice lift to the aromas and flavors of currant and pepper.  Sweet, supple and scented, in a gentle, seamless style.  An herbal quality contributes to the wine’s juicy character and light touch.  Finishes seamless and persistent, with noteworthy purity of flavor.  ‘I actually like it,’ says zin man Turley.”
(92 points) ~ Tanzer

~ The above referenced notes come to us via Tanzer and indicate a wine in keeping with the long-standing reputation of Turley; a wine which true enthusiasts should be buying before it’s gone!

2011 “The Label” Cabernet

Turley Wine Cellars, St. Helena

Retails at:  $45.00/btl

Your Price: $42.99/btl


2011 TURLEY “The Label”

Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena


Larry Turley

Larry Turley (left) & Ehren Jordan

2011 marks the 2nd release of “The Label” Cabernet from legendary producer Turley Cellars. This surprisingly impressive Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from magnificent 20+ year old vines in a single, organically-farmed vineyard that recently became part of the Turley Estate in St Helena.

The wine undergoes aging in 100% French oak (33% new), which imparts a nicely integrated seamlessness and toasty spice. It’s packed full of ripe black and blue fruits with pretty floral notes. Balanced and inviting,

“The Label” represents a refreshing take on Napa Cabernet and deftly balances New World charm with Old World refinement.

If you’ve ever wondered just how good the wines of Turley can be, I strongly recommend securing a case of this limited Cabernet for your wine collection.

To order simply call my toll free number: 866-620-4476

(if your account is already established you may order by replying to this email)

All the best in wine & life,
Christopher
Wine Country Connection
866-620-4476

Fortune 1621 Cabernet 2011 ~ Brian Mox brings his Lewis Cellars moxie to Oakville

Christopher’s Wine Country Connection

Your Direct Source to Exclusive Offers from Wine Country

2011 Fortune 1621
Napa Valley Cabernet SauvignonFortune 1621

*Crafted by Brian Mox. (Former winemaker at LEWIS Cellars!)

*Previous Vintage Earned “Double Gold” in SF Chronicle Competition (60 Professional Judges!)

*At $26.99 with Shipping Included, you’ll think you’re drinking a $50 Napa Valley Cab! Yes, it’s that good….

*Without a doubt, the newly released Fortune 1621 is one of the best Cabs under $30 that we’ve seen all year!

2011 Fortune 1621 Napa Valley Cabernet

Retails at: $28-$30/btl
Your Price: $26.99/btl +
Ground Shipping Included on Case Purchases

“Seductive aromas of ripe blackberries, cassis and dried violets. Stunning depth and focus, usually not found in Cabernet anywhere near this price point. Layers of ripe black fruits, chocolate, black cherry, espresso and caramel are complemented by the finely intertwined soft velvety tannins.”
93 points, WCC

~Fortune 1621 by Darms Lane~
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the secrets to our success in sourcing some of THE highest quality wines and greatest values in all of Wine Country is that we follow the greatest winemakers in the region….

BRIAN MOX was not only the inaugural winemaker at LAIRD ESTATE, he also worked alongside industry leader/winemaker Tony Soter at ETUDE WINERY.

More importantly, Brian was the full time winemaker at LEWIS CELLARS. Lewis’s Reserve Cab was just featured as the #9 Wine in the World on the Wine Spectator top 100.

With Lewis Cabs retailing in the $90-$300/btl range, the new Fortune 1621 by Darms Lane is a no brainer at $26.99/btl (including shipping).

This is another one of those wines that will have your friends and family asking, “Where in the world did you find this amazing wine!?”

$hipping Note – We offer an option of using 15 bottle cases which are not only better insulated, but ship for the same cost as 12 bottle cases. This reduces your per-bottle shipping cost by about 20%.

If your account is set up, hit reply and indicate your desired order.

Or contact our office to establish an account and place your order:
(866) 620-4476

All the best in wine & life,
Christopher

Wine Country Connection
cepagenoir@gmail.com

Darms Lane Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – Brian Mox brings his Lewis Cellars magic to Oak Knoll

Like so many of the superb, yet “under the radar” wineries I’ve come across in my career, Darms Darms Lane 2009 Lane was a complete mystery to me until a few weeks ago. But I was intrigued when hearing about some of the winery’s recent accomplishments, so I decided to do a little digging. What I’ve discovered will convince you (as it did me) that this serious family run venture in the Oak Knoll District of Napa should be added to your list of “must haves” for benchmark Cabernets.

My curiosity was initially piqued when discovering a track record of excellent to outstanding rankings in the press for Darms Lane’s proprietary Cabernet. Known as the “Bon Passe Vineyard”, this bottling comes from a vineyard originally planted in the 1970s, when it was owned by Gil Nickel – of Nickel & Nickel as well as Far Niente Wineries. But in a twist that runs consistent here at Darms Lane, “Bon Passe” – like so much of the acreage here at the estate – was originally a Chardonnay vineyard.

That’s right; Darms Lane – becoming increasingly well-known for blockbuster, 100% Cabernets and Petit Verdots – began life as a Chardonnay stronghold. If Darms Lane has yet to become a household name for many, perhaps more will recognize the historical winery Crichton Hall. And it was precisely that winery – once known for its sultry Chardonnays – which would eventually be renamed: Darms Lane.

Located on Darms Lane road – hence the obvious choice when the time came for renaming the estate – Crichton Hall was in need of replanting by the turn of the century. One of the company’s limited partners – Richard Bump (who would eventually buy out his other partners and become sole owner) stepped up to the challenge. Terroir studies indicated Cabernet and other Bordeaux varietals as being more suitable to the vineyard, so Richard set about replanting (and renaming). The rest, as they say is history.

Today, under the wine-making guidance of one of Napa’s most experienced Cabernet experts, Brian Mox – formerly with Lewis Cellars, Etude as well as Laird Family Estates – this beautiful property, nestled against the southern hills of the Mayacamas Mountains is quietly and consistently releasing one great vintage after another. As Steve Heimoff – California editor for Wine Enthusiast – explains:

“Darms Lane is one of those wineries that travels under the radar, but it really is worthy of your attention.”

And now that yours truly has experienced their classically structured, brilliantly balanced 2009, I couldn’t agree more!

If your account is already established, simply reply to this post to order.

OR call me at my office number (866) 620-4476 to set up an account.
All the best in wine & life,

Christopher
Wine Country Connection

cepagenoir@gmail.com
https://cepagenoir.wordpress.com/

Arietta “Quartet” Proprietary Red, Napa Valley ~ The Screaming Eagle Connection


Christopher’s Wine Country Connection


2011 ARIETTA “Quartet” Proprietary Red, Napa ValleyArietta Quartet 1

*From Stephen Tanzer, one of the toughest critics in the industry…

Dark red-ruby. Expressive aromas…Dense and sweet…boasts excellent energy...” 92-94

*Accomplished Napa winemaker Andy Erickson (Made Screaming Eagle from 2005-2010 with 2, 100 Point Wines, & assisted at Harlan Estate…)

*The Vineyard, located in the red hot Coombsville AVA in Napa Valley, was planted by world renowned viticulturist David Abreu…

2011 ARIETTA QUARTET
$64.99/btl + Ground Shipping Included on Case Purchases

Dark red-ruby. Expressive aromas of black raspberry, pepper, mocha, leather, menthol and coffee. Dense and sweet but youthfully tight, with a sappy impression of firm acidity energizing the mid-palate. Finishes savory, peppery and perfumed, with a firm tannic spine. Not a thick wine but one that boasts excellent energy and supporting spine.”92-94 Tanzer


2011 ARIETTA “Quartet”
Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
62% cabernet, 19% cabernet franc, 17% merlot & 2% petit verdot


At a tiny fraction of the price that you would see a bottle of Screaming Eagle or Harlan Estate going for in the marketplace, Arietta’s “Quartet” packs in more bang for your buck in this price range than seemingly possible.   An expertly crafted blend by accomplished winemaker Andy Erickson

During Andy’s five year tenure making Screaming Eagle, he expertly crafted two 100 point perfect wines, the 2007 & 2010.   Andy was also the former assistant winemaker at Harlan Estate, is currently involved in his own label Favia, and is also winemaker at cult producers Dalla Valle, Dancing Hares and Ovid…  If you still aren’t quite convinced, Stephen Tanzer who is well known for being one of the toughest critics in the business raved about the 2011 Quartet and awarded it 92-94 points.   I strongly recommend securing a 15 bottle case of this magnificent red for your cellar….

If your account is already established, simply reply to this post to order.

OR call me at my office number (510.749.0325) to set up an account.

All the best in wine & life,

Christopher
Wine Country Connection

cepagenoir@gmail.com

 

Aurielle Napa Valley Cabernet 2008 ~ A Howell Mountain Superstar You need to know


Christopher’s Wine Country Connection


2008 Aurielle Napa Valley, Cabernet SauvignonAurielle

~ The April 2012 issue of Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine – wherein they reviewed 118 Domestic Cabernets to include Caymus Special Selection, Shafer Hillside Select, Stag’s Leap Fay and many other of the “big boys” – awarded its highest score to none other than AURIELLE Cabernet Sauvignon; bestowing a whopping 94 points (placing this beauty ahead of some very serious competition).

~ “Rich and complex, deep and boasting plenty of still youthful yet outgoing curranty fruit, this wine is about as close to classic as a wine of its size and expressiveness is likely to get…wonderfully complementary oak in its makeup …it is also a wine of great sophistication. … the wine’s depth is matched to its underlying sense of balance…”
94 points, #1 Cabernet,
Volume 36, Issue 6: April 2012

MSRP:  $90.00/btl

Your Price: $65.00/btl (That’s Nearly 30% OFF) + Ground Shipping Included on Case Purchases


Aurielle


Aurielle produces Super Premium Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards on Howell Mtn and Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley. This powerful Cabernet will have you on the edge of your seat, and the silky, fine grain tannins really extend the finish and will have you begging for another sip.

The wine is produced from extremely low yields of less than 2 tons per acre. This results in powerful, intense berries that make a truly memorable and very classy Cabernet Sauvignon.  Just 358 cases were produced of this ultra-premium Cab. I strongly recommend adding a 15 bottle case to your cellar.

If your account is already established, simply reply to this post to order, or call me at my office number below to set up an account.
All the best in wine & life,

Christopher
Wine Country Connection

510.749.0325

cepagenoir@gmail.com
https://cepagenoir.wordpress.com/

Biale “Royal Punishers” Petite Sirah 2011 – The Zinfandel Masters “Other” Masterpiece

Biale


Christopher’s Wine Country Connection


Biale “Royal Punishers” 2011 Petite Sirah, Napa Valley

~ In the October 2013 issue of his Wine Advocate, Robert Parker was quoted as saying:

“This great Zinfandel producer can also turn heads with its portfolio of brilliant Petite Sirahs.”

~ And Parker’s review was one of the highlights for the varietal as well as the entire issue:

“The 2011 Petite Sirah Royal Punishers’ inky purple color is followed by a big, sweet nose of blueberry and blackberry liqueur, gorgeous volume of fruit, glycerin and power in the mouth, impeccable purity, sweet tannin and enough acidity to provide focus. This is an outrageously delicious and interesting Petite Sirah to enjoy over the next decade.”
93 points, Robert Parker

2011 BIALE “Royal Punishers”
Petite Sirah
Retails at: $42/btl
Your price: $39/btl + Ground Shipping Included on Case Purchases


Biale History


The Biale tradition began in the 1930s when Pietro Biale, an immigrant from Genoa, began planting Zinfandel on his farm in the town of Napa in 1937. To make a few extra dollars in the Depression era, an enterprising teenaged son, Aldo Biale, began discreetly selling Zinfandel.

Biale has also become highly sought after for leading the renaissance in Petite Sirah. Biale produces arguably the finest contemporary examples of Petite Sirah – California’s other most notable variety (and a Robert Parker unapologetic favorite).

Petite Sirah’s vineyard reliability in any given vintage – saturated color, muscular structure, blend-ability, and pure minerality combined with blueberry and blackberry fruit – made it for decades (along with Zinfandel) the long-time favorite grape among Napa Valley wine-growers. In the context of pure power, longevity, and hedonistic pleasure, the new wave of Petite Sirahs in Napa can rival the finest Cabernet Sauvignons…. 

The historical significance of Biale’s Petite Sirah, combined with its modern appeal and pure decadence makes the 2011 Royal Punishers a MUST HAVE for lovers of full throttle, exuberant bottlings!

If your account is already established, simply reply to this post to order, or call me at my office number below to set up an account.
All the best in wine & life,

Christopher

Wine Country Connection

510.749.0325

cepagenoir@gmail.com
https://cepagenoir.wordpress.com/