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Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mt. is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
Here we go again. It seems as though I’m saying the same thing year after year. Another excellent vintage from Howell Mountain. And once again it’s true. The wine shows deep purple color concentration with both sweet and savory aromatics on the nose. Blackberries, currants, freshly turned soil and black licorice attack your nostrils from the glass. Rich, broad and full bodied as this wine is the vineyard once again provides the balancing influence of acidity and tannin and helps usher in the finishing notes of roasted meats, cigar box, fennel and more black and blue fruit. If 2012 and 2013 Cresta Velia had a baby it would be the 2015. Incredible concentration from the 2013 with generous portions of fruit from 2012. And although you are not supposed to have a favorite child, if I had to choose I think it would be 2015...until we release the 2016.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Eagle Summit Vineyard on Howell Mountain
Equal amounts of clone 4 and clone 7
100% percent french oak 73% new 27% used
unfined and unfiltered
Winemaker and founder John Giannini named Cresta Velia for his mother and grandmother - combining his mother’s maiden name (Cresta) with his grandmother’s first name (Velia). Cresta Velia’s inaugural vintage was the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and now also includes a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir label.
Cresta Velia’s Cabernet Sauvignon hails from Eagle Summit, a beautifully farmed hillside vineyard on Howell Mountain, overlooking Napa Valley. Thin soils underpinned by volcanic bedrock force the vines to delve deep in search of water and nutrients, producing wines with an ineffable sense of place.
John Giannini founded Cresta Velia in 2006. John grew up in an extended Italian family – wine was always served with food. He considers both to be inseparable from one another. He comes to Napa from a restaurant background – first working at Scallas Bistro in San Francisco. He was introduced to Napa wines by a server at Scalla’s who would often visit the valley. John would accompany him on these day trips; his appreciation for wine grew. Eventually he moved to Napa and worked at Terra Restaurant.
For winemaker, John Giannini, delicious wine and good food are the essential components of a life well lived. Hailing from San Francisco, two things were pivotal for John growing up; coming from a large Italian family and having parents who liked to go out to dinner. John’s family was no different than other typical Italian families for whom good food was paramount, wine was always on the table, and one or more members of the family dabbled in winemaking (John’s Grandfather). John and his siblings always got the requisite sip of wine on special occasions and grew up understanding that good food and wine go together. Equally as formative was that John’s parents took John out to dinner a lot when he was growing up. A lot. John was encouraged to order off of the full “adult” menu and was exposed to flavors and food combinations at a young age that most people do not experience until they are adults.
John’s first restaurant job was as a server at a local restaurant in San Francisco while he was in college. However, it became immediately clear to him that he was not a front of the house guy and that he belonged in the kitchen; and if you know John you know that sounds about right. A year or two later, he bought a paring knife and a chef’s knife when he was hired, with next to no experience, to work in the kitchen at Kuleto’s in Burlingame, CA. He was hooked from the start, not only on the energy of the kitchen but on learning to create food. From there John spent fifteen years as an accomplished chef in restaurants on the West Coast, including Chef Hiro Sone’s Terra Restaurant in Napa. He was on the trajectory to becoming Chef de Cuisine with plans to eventually open his own restaurant until he worked his first harvest in 2003.
Like so many people who end up working in the wine industry, one can look back on a chance encounter or conversation that set the wheels of fate in motion. John met Thomas Brown through mutual friends while playing volleyball and it was Thomas who gave John his first job during harvest in the Napa Valley in 2003. Everything about the harvest season was exciting and compelling and created a lasting impression however, John was still not quite sure that he was willing to give up on his first passion. Moving to Portland, OR in 2004 to help open a friend’s restaurant was to be his last foray in the restaurant business and by the time harvest of 2005 rolled around, John moved back to stay. He worked that harvest, and every harvest since, making a promise to not miss another harvest again. And he hasn’t.
In 2006, John became the Cellar Master at Outpost Winery in Angwin and in 2007 he took over as the Assistant Winemaker under Thomas.
Since then, John has helped craft many of the 100 point wines that have come out of Outpost winemaking facility. And while he continues to be the Assistant Winemaker at Outpost, the next logical step was to become a winemaker in his own right; and so Cresta Velia was born.
Eagle Summit Vineyard
Eagle Summit, which sits high atop Howell Mountain at an elevation just under 2000 feet, is a gently sloping site with iron rich red soil and well draining volcanic rock which contribute to the formation of small intensely flavored berries that create wines of distinction with an undeniable sense of place.
Bohemian Vineyard Green Valley
Our Cresta Velia Pinot Noir is crafted with clones 115 and 667 from the Bohemian Vineyard Green Valley just outside the town of Occidental. Residing in the western region of the Russian River Valley the site receives the cooling benefit of the coastal influence and slightly less heat than the middle of the Valley allowing full maturity while retaining freshness.
Early to bud and early to ripen, the 2014 vintage was our third drought year in a row. Dry, even temperatures marched the grapes along at a steady clip all year and created a wine with beautifully integrated fruit, acidity, and tannin.
Dense and dark magenta in color, this is a lithe and energetic vintage with lifted aromatics and a purity of fruit that lights up the medium-bodied tannin structure. The nose promises fresh black fruits, cherries and a touch of graphite, and the palate completely delivers. Juicy blackberry, plum, and bright cherry explode in the mouth, and develop into savory notes of baked black fruit and fresh pencil shavings on the mid-palate.
Eagle Summit Vineyard’s signature eucalyptus appears on the back palate to brighten the fruit, showing fragrant peppermint and warm, toasty spices through the finish. Whether you open it young or wait a few decades, this vintage does Howell Mountain proud--sophisticated and smart, with a rustic wild side.
Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Aged in 100% French oak (86% new)
• 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Eagle Summit Vineyard on Howell Mountain
• Equal amounts of clone 4 and clone 7
• unfined and unfiltered
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet aged 20 months in 86% new French oak, with the typical suspects in terms of cooperage – Darnajou, Taransaud, and Remond. This opaque purple-colored wine has plenty of mulberry and blackcurrant fruit along with hints of blackberries, camphor and incense. The are some notes of unsmoked cigar and licorice as well. Ripe, medium to full-bodied and luscious, it is a classic to drink over the next 15 or more years. - RP"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #228, December 2016), 90 pts
Mt Monster Cabernet Sauvignon is 100 percent Cabernet
Winemaking: Our Cabernet is fermeneted in static fermenters at controlled temperatures to retain the varietal aromatics. Once complete the wine is left for 7-1- days on skins to aide in the extraction of soft fleshy tannins and build wine structure. French and American oak has been used sparingly to ensure maximum fruit expression is retained in the final wine.
Tasting notes: Deep purple in colour. Classic aromas of lifted blackcurrant, blackberry and mint on the nose. Flavours follow through of sweet berry-fruit accented by fresh muddled mint. Elegant, structured palate with big velvety tannins.
"The flagship is the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon mostly from Champoux with the balance from Palengat and Wallula vineyards. Crème de cassis, graphite, black licorice, unsmoked tobacco, and hints of chocolate and emerge from this beauty and it continues to gain depth and nuance with time in the glass. Full-bodied, deep, and layered with an incredible purity and elegance on the palate, it's already accessible but has more than enough tannin, depth, and balance to evolve for two decades or more."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 99 pts
Aged in French oak barrels for 8 months in our cellar. Lovely deep red color, with ripe blackberry fruit. The spiciness of the nose is echoed on the palate and combines well with juicy red fruit flavors. Well integrated oak and fine tannins ensures a long and classic finish.
Coming from a sustainable 50-year old plot, grapes are crushed, destemmed and go through pre-fermentative maceration at 11ºC for 24 hours. Alcoholic fermentation in tanks. 4 weeks of maceration with must. Aged in French oak barrels for 8 months, Malolactic fermentation in contact with fine lees.
"A good introduction to Argentine cabernet sauvignon, thanks to its vibrant blueberries and fullish, supple body. The soft tannins have a chocolatey edge and fill out the medium-full body nicely. Drink now."
- James Suckling (March 2019), 90 pts
The Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years.
Lakeview Vineyard is the winery’s mid-block vineyard planted to a combination of clone 6 & 337 Cabernet Sauvignon on 101-14 rootstock. Excellent drainage from the rocky and chalky soils plus plenty of sunlight throughout the day produces wines of bold character with mouth filling flavors.
Organic farming methods are used to produce this Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview vineyard. Vines are 17 years old. Ageing in French oak barrels (85% new) for 20 months, then 12 months in bottle prior to release. Non-filtered.
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 95 pts
"Darker tonalities of fruit along with distinctly savory undertones are two of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview Vineyard. Rich, ample and powerful, the Casey's Lakeview offers notable richness to fill out its broad-shouldered frame. Hints of lavender and mint add nuance in a virile Cabernet Sauvignon that needs at least a few years to fully come together. - Antonio Galloni"
- Vinous (October 2015), 94 pts
Keermont Pondokrug Cabernet Franc is made from Cabernet Franc.
The Keermont Single Vineyard Series was created to high light the superb quality and individual character of the wines produced from certain vineyard parcels on the farm. These parcels have been registered as Single Vineyards with the South African Wine Industry Information & Systems NPC (SAWIS) and wines labelled as such may not contain wine made from any other vineyard. The production of each wine is therefore very limited. We do not bottle these wines every year.
This wine has a pink purple hue. Typical herbal aromas are complimented by strawberries and red candy. The palate is intense with bright red fruit flavors complimented by hints of sherbet, red peppers and black currant. The tannin structure is tight and grippy and a strong central acid core gives the wine a long powerful dry finish. Drink 2018-2030.
High up on the west-facing slopes of the Stellenbosch Mountain, this is a 1.81 Hectares (4.5 acres) parcel of Cabernet Franc planted in 2006. At an elevation of 380 meters above sea level and surrounded by mountain "fynbos", this block is exposed to many natural elements resulting in very low yields. The soil on Pondokrug is red granitic loam with a high clay content which sustains the vines during the summer months. These factors allows Keermont to produce an intense wine with unique flavors and a solid tannin structure.
All grapes used in producing our wines are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Small parcels of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 20 months maturing in seasoned French oak barrels before being bottled by hand without filtration.
"Sourced from the top two terraces of the vineyard up near the reservoir, this single parcel Cabernet Franc reveals good typicity and impressive depth of plum and dark cherry fruit. Creamy, lush texture on a full bodied palate with fine firm tannins. Matured 20 months in used French oak. The name means hut (pondok) on the ridge (rug) in Afrikaans."- International Wine Review (January 2019), 93 pts
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts
"The 2015 Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Cottage Lane Vineyard, located at 300 meters above sea level. It was picked in small batches that underwent strict sorting and spent two to three weeks on the skins. It then matured for 22 months in 225-liter French oak barrels (10% to 15% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration. It has a tightly wound bouquet at first, presenting blackberry, bilberry, cedar and light damp undergrowth scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and mint- and cedar-tinged black fruit on the entry, building toward a nicely structured, quite sappy finish. It doesn’t quite deliver the panache of its Syrah counterpart, but it is a fine Cabernet Sauvignon all the same. - Neal Martin"- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Segries Clos Jean Alesi Cotes du Rhone Rouge is made from 1/3 each of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
This wine was originally called Segries Lanzac Clos Hermitage Cotes du Rhone Rouge
This 3.5 hectare vineyard, located in the famous “Quartier de la Chartreuse de Villeneuve-les-Avignon”, has been owned by the Formula 1 race car driver Jean Alesi since 1995. It is managed by Château de Ségriès.
This wine is a blend of 33% Grenache, 33% Syrah, and 33% Mourvedre sourced from 40-year-old vines. It was fermented in concrete vats then aged for nine months in 5% new oak barrels. The wine is a very grapey color in the glass. There is a light nose of tightly packed black fruit, dried herbs, pepper, and licorice. In the mouth there are tight-grained blue fruit, fine, powerful tannins, and a little strawberry flavor breaking loose. With air the wine reveals pencil and pepper flavors along with the structure for aging.
Yield: 40 hl/ha
Age of the vines: 40 years.
Vinification: 21 days skin maceration in temperature controlled concrete vats
Ageing: 9 months oak aging -5% new French oak from Seguin Moreau cooper and 95% of 1 year old barrels.
Delicious with roast meat, grilled vegetables, strong cheese and chocolate desserts.