When the founding fathers of the Napa Valley carved out new sub-AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in the 1980s, Soda Canyon Ranch was not yet on anyone’s map. The vineyard is neighbored to the northwest and west by the winegrowing districts of Stags Leap District and Oak Knoll District, respectively, which were among the early pioneers of California Cabernet Sauvignon to attain global fame. To the northeast and southeast—and further off the beaten path—were Atlas Peak and Coombsville, thought to be the next frontiers for the emerging wine-producing region.
With richness and depth of flavor, the 2018 Timeless Napa Valley is the embodiment of patience and attention to detail. Decades of experience at Soda Canyon Ranch allow winemaker Nate Weis and team to highlight the individual merits of each block. Combining the strongest lots from each resulted in a refined and harmonious bottling.
In 2018, the diurnal shift at Soda Canyon Ranch produced a darker, lusher fruit profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Simultaneously, the overnight recovery periods resulted in expressive and refined Merlot, giving the wine a pleasant profile of bright, red fruit. With an extended harvest window, the signature, plush density and structure of Petit Verdot is also prevalent in the final blend. Cabernet Franc thrived in 2018 with its predilection for the cooler soils and the climate of blocks 5, 6, 16, 20 and 21—areas we call the Transition Zone and Hardpan Alley. The variety’s floral and tobacco-like aromatics are accentuated, and its more aggressive nature for back-end tannins tamed.
Once blended, the 2018 vintage rested in French oak barrels for 16 months, developing flavors of vanilla and baking spice. Velvety tannins dance across the palate of bright and lingering cassis. With a smooth finish, this is a comforting wine of elegance and depth—a sophisticated expression of the sedate summer.
This is a little old-school and shows lots of dark berry, chocolate and dried fruit. It’s full, dense and layered with fleshly sensibility. Velvety texture.
-James Suckling 93 Points
All older vintage wines have been purchased from a single collectors cellar. Pictures can be requested before shipment.
It is hard to imagine with the Lithology range receiving 298 points out of 300 for the three single-vineyard wines, that there could possibly be a wine above them. But there is, and it is our Estate wine. Blended several times very intently by masters of their craft Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, this is the ultimate expression of our house’s work. Positive, full-bodied, and quite powerful, there’s the expected crème de cassis and blackberry from St. Helena Cabernets, with mineral, herb, subtle tobacco and vanilla, plum skins, and pie crust, purple flowers, forest-conifer notes, and very fine tannic structure. It is a magnificent, and magnificently elegant expression of this house, and when asked recently, Monsieur Rolland stated plainly to me, “oh yes indeed – this is the best one, the best yet…”
The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni comes from a selection made by winemakers Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, mostly from Rutherford and Oakville fruit. Aged 20 months in 78% new French oak, it has incredible aromatics of black and blue fruits, spring flowers, and graphite to go with a massive, full-bodied, concentrated style on the palate that somehow stays graceful, weightless, and elegant. This tour de force in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is guaranteed to put a smile on your face over the coming 20-25+ years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
From a St. Helena vineyard planted by early Napa settler Edward Bale more than 150 years ago, and later serving as the estate vineyard for the area’s first winery built by Henry Pellet in 1860, the Las Piedras site always gives us our prettiest wine. When placed next to Dr. Crane and To-Kalon wines, the Las Piedras show a certain elegance, with a very graceful entry and finely detailed complexity. We produce it with at least 75% new French oak, so there is a floral, spicy, and vanilla accent to the intense red and black fruits, cassis, and black cherry liqueur. What distinguishes this bottling is the beautifully fine tannins, delicate texture, and stunning purity. (Less than 100 cases made.)
Fermentation 70% Oak, 24% Concrete, 6% Puncheon
"The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard comes from a world-class site outside of St. Helena and is all Cabernet that spent 20 months in 80% new oak. It offers a touch more red fruit as well ample cassis, spring flowers, loamy earth, and spice-like aromas and flavors. It has a wonderful sense of minerality, ultra-fine tannins, a dense, layered texture, and incredibly purity of fruit. It’s another just about off the charts release from this estate."
- Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
Argot Chardonnay Sonoma County is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Pouring a green-tinted gold, our Sonoma County Chardonnay is a beautiful wine from word go. Radiating from within, a blast of apple/pear fruit informs this wine both aromatically, and on the palate. As flavors unfurl, a progression of orange blossom, pineapple, white peach, and hazlenut are followed by a finish dominated by ginger, baked apple, with a trailing kiss of mint’s freshness. A stunning wine — wholly informed by the perfection of 2018’s growing season — defined by its dichotomy of massively intense flavors, and superb acidity and freshness.
Raised by minimalistic methods, often associated with the classic Chardonnay winemaking techniques of Meursault. With a focus on the coolest Chardonnay region in Sonoma County, 2018’s long, even growing season favored our vineyards’ moderate climate, old vines and deep volcanic soils. These grapes were allowed an extended ripening period on the vine, resulting in perfect balance and concentrated flavors.
Argot Pinot Noir Sonoma County is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Everything you have come to expect from an Argot Pinot Noir, shone through the filter of a textbook-perfect vintage. We simply can not get over the quality of fruit this wine displays! Intense, yet fresh; fruity, yet spicy; brambly, yet juicy; immediate, yet lingering. A Pinot Noir that displays the variety’s natural come-hither attitude, while succinctly capturing its intriguing nature. There are not enough superlatives to describe this wine. Almost too easy to love!
VINEYARD Multiple vineyards throughout Sonoma County, including both valley floor and high-elevation hillside sites
PRODUCTION 600 cases
VARIETAL 100% Pinot Noir
CRUSH Night harvested by hand beginning in mid-September, concluding at our coolest sit on October 13. Cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing
FERMENT 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top containers, with the grapes fermenting on their skins for an average time of 14 days.
AGING 16 months, French oak barrels, 7% new, remainder once-used. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled un-fined, unfiltered.
NOTES Singularly great. 2018 was an all-time vintage for California’s North Coast, achieving rarely before experienced heights. A mild summer gave way to Autumnal perfection, allowing cooler areas the opportunity to ripen their crop while chemistries remained perfect. What arrives in bottle is nothing short of a pinnacle representation of Sonoma County Pinot Noir — profound depth of pure, red Pinot Noir fruits, caressing textures balanced by deep minerality and a quenching acidity.
Beauvignac Moelleux Picpoul is made from 60% Colombard and 40% Picpoul de Pinet.
There is some sweetness, all natural, coming from the ripeness and the natural sugar of the grapes as the fermentation was stopped before all the sugar was transformed into alcohol during alcoholic fermentation.
The Cave de Pomerols Estate
Founded in 1932, this Cave Cooperative is located in the top commune of Pomerols, located between the garrigue of Pezenas and the sea dominated by the Mont St Clair in Sete. The co-op has merged with the Cave de Castelmau de Guers. They include 320 members and produce 55,000 hectoliters of wine (600,000 cases).
The Cave de Pomerols Vineyard
The members control 1,200 hectares of vineyard land (2,964 acres) of which 330 hectares (815.1 acres) are Picpoul de Pinet. Six communes are entitled to the name Picpoul de Pinet: Florensac, Pomerols, Pinet, Castelnau de Guers, Montagnac, Meze. The Pomerols vineyards stretch over vast sun-light terraces with clay/calcareous soils.
Beliere Bugey-Cerdon is made from 95% Gamay, 5% Poulsard (a local grape from Jura).
Spontaneous fermentation. An altogether preferable scenario to spontaneous combustion, and A LOT more fun to drink. This pink, semi-dry bubbly was made by spontaneous fermentation, otherwise known as methode ancestrale. Grapes are picked by hand (not just any grapes, these are the local Poulsard and Gamay grown on mountainous slopes in the shadow of the Alps), and fermented in chilled vats just reaching 5 or 6 degrees alcohol. The young and light wine is then bottled, along with its active yeast and considerable unfermented sugars. Under pressure of the cork, the wine continues to ferment, gaining a few degrees of alcohol but retaining a nice amount of sweetness. The bubbles, of course, are another result of fermentation under pressure. This one is so delicious and fun to drink, with a distinctly, well, grapy aroma and a fruitiness that calls out for celebration and jubilation.
This is also wonderful served with chocolate cake!
Produced from the "Ancestral method" (also used to produce Clairette de Die): Low temperature fermentation starting in the tank, light filtration that leaves active yeast in the wine, bottling of the wine with fermentation continuing in the bottle ("spontaneous fermentation in the bottle"), retaining some sugar (40 gr/liter at the end). Made from 95% Gamay, 5% Poulsard (a local grape from Jura).
"Amber color. Aromas and flavors of cranberry juice, rose petal, cherry and kiwi, and red apple with a round, bright, effervescent, fruity medium-to-full body and a delightful, medium-long finish that shows nuances of cherry, cranberry, beeswax, and rose water. Concentrated fruit flavors, creamy bubbles, and well balanced acidity will make this a splendid pairing with charcuterie." - Beverage Testing -Institute (November 2022), 92 pts - Gold Medal
Bernardins Muscat de Beaumes de Venise Hommage is made from 75% Muscat petits grains blancs, 25% Muscat petits grains noirs.
The wine shows a golden hue with orangy highlights. Endearing nose of grape, orange peel and a honeyed accent. Mild at point of entry, spendid aromatic intensity, sultana, candied orange, rose petal and refined spice. Our Muscat de Beaumes de Venise has a great age ability.
For every vintage of our Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, the grapes are picked by hand. We press them straightaway to ferment the juice without skins. We don’t add any yeasts and keep the alcoholic fermentation in check by temperature control. Vin Doux Naturel winemaking involves stopping fermentation to preserve the grapes’ natural sweetness. During vinification, we watch the vats day and night and add 95% grape spirit just at the right moment. At this stage, the wine’s final balance is at stake. For the Hommage, we blend different vintages, aged in stain steel vats, to create the complexity of a long lasting wine.
The Hommage is a versatile companion to many deserts. Most expressive with dry biscuits and dry fruits, it retains all its character served with a fruit tart, puff paestry and chocolate or coffe desserts. To appreciate as well with duck breasts and figs. Served with a roquefort or a silton, it is marvellous. Simply as an aperitif with some dry fruit or grilled almonds. It's also a good compagnion for a classy cigars.
This is the south facing portion of the slope and very hot, heavy “Fourneaux” or “oven”. 25% barrel fermented.
The wine offers ripe nearly tropical fruit flavors laced with mineral, oak, honey, and good mouth feel.
Corne Loup Cotes du Rhone Blanc is made from 50% Grenache Blanc, 20% Clairette, 15% Roussanne and 15% Viognier.
The wine has a pale straw color with brilliant reflection. In the nose, it displays great aromatics, mainly citrus fruit. The palate is well balanced, with a lot of finesse and persistence.
Delicious when paired with seafood (seashell and fish). It is also great by itself as an aperitif.
Ferme Blanche Cassis Blanc Excellence is made from 50% Marsanne and 50% Clairette.
On the nose, white fruits, citrus zest, hint of vanilla. Velvety well balanced mouth of ripe fruits and minerality.
Pair with trout, Scallop, or better yet lobster would complement this wine perfectly.
Guy Bossard Domaine de l'Ecu Muscadet Granite is made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne sourced from a 3 hectare vineyard.
Yield: 40-45 hl/ha
Soil ploughing and soil scraping. Canopy management.
PRUNING: Simple Guyot.
Orientation of the slopes is SOUTH WEST. Stony soil. Sub-sol: Two-Mica Granite.
Production: 555 cases
It is the color of white gold. An elegant nose with pronounced notes of mineral, flint, silex, and notes of citrus fruits and oyster shells. The attack is sharp and straight, the mouth crystalline imparting a great purety, fresh with the ambiance of the sea; mouth slim, fleshy and complex, very salty notes and notes of chalk and citrus fruits. A wine equipped with a long life with a persistant ambiance of the sea. A wine essentially to keep....
Organically farmed since 1975. Biodynamic – Demeter certified since 1998. 100 % hand-picked grapes Reception of the grape harvest by gravity, no use of pumps. Pneumatic gentle press No racking of the must Fermentation: 100 % natural yeast • Temperature control: 15 °- 17 °. Aged "ON THE LEES" in underground vats
A perfect match to the following dishes:
Tartare of langoustines, zest of lime and mandarin.
Sushi and sashimi of white fish, sea bass and sea bream...
Shellfish, refined oysters, crayfish.
Carpaccio of ScallopS with kaffir lime zest.
Turbot, John Dory, Monkfish in sauce, Skate with capers, beurre noisette.
Eels "à la Provençale". Wild Sea Bass with an oyster sauce and seaweed butter.
Grilled Rabbit Leg with rosemary, tian of courgettes
Cheeses: Livarot, Epoisses, Curé Nantais
"Aged on the big lees in concrete cisterns until March this year, the 2020 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Granite offers ripe and aromatic fruit with beautifully fine and refreshing granite notes. Round and intense on the palate, this is a mouth-filling, refined and elegant, singular salty and grippy Muscat with delicate bitters on the yeasty finish. This is an excellent Muscadet. 12% stated alcohol. Natural cork. Tasted at ProWein in Düsseldorf in May 2022. - Stephan Reinhardt"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #261, June 2022), 91 pts
Wolfberger Cremant d Alsace Brut NV is made with 90 % Pinot Blanc, 10% Pinot Auxerrois.
The production of sparkling wine was already known in Alsace in the early 1900's. The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (A.O.C.) Crémant d’Alsace began with an official decree in August 1976.
Pale golden color. Fine, persistent bubbles. Floral nose with a hint of spiciness, gentle fruitiness (peach, apricot), and lovely balance. Fruity and lively in the palate, it has a clean and crisp finish. This wine will suit any special occasion.
""Straw color. Bright, fruity, creamy aromas of green apple pastry, peaches in cream, and lemon chiffon with a supple, tangy, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, amusing, medium-long white nuts, lime-pineapple sorbet, and minerals finish with no oak. A refreshing, tangy sparkling wine that will shine at the table."
-Beverage Testing Institute, 94 pts (Exceptional)
Dark and deep with a hue of deep bright ruby red. Intense and complex bouquet of red cherry and blackberry intermixed with notes of minerals (graphite, wet river rocks), licorice, fresh blond tobacco and a hint of fresh blackcurrant. Full bodied, the palate is reminiscent of the nose, with a richly tannic yet round frame and with an outstanding finesse. The tannins from both bench and foothill locations create a harmonious ensemble, leading to a long, seamless and elegant finish. Built to age for decades, this collectible wine will open up after a few years of cellaring and is particularly representative of this special side of St. Helena. Morlet Estate features the interaction of the loamy, well drained and rocky volcanic soil, the typical sunny mountain climate and the low-interventionistic Morlet winemaking approach.
More masculine, backward, and austere, with a Chateau Latour-like character, the 2015 Morlet Estate gives up darker fruits, crushed rock, and ample lead pencil-like notions to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, structured feel on the palate. With building tannin and obvious minerality, it’s going to handsomely reward patience.
Jeb Dunnuck 96+ Points