Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
The original thought was to be a one wine brand, with a single minded vision to produce the best value-priced Cabernet Sauvignon in America. How do you go about this? Traditional winemaking. Natural fermentations. Barrel-aging. Plus, bottling unfiltered and unfined. In essence, making the wines in small batch winemaking integrity, but doing so on a larger scale. The wine is black. The label definitively says, "This is Cabernet Sauvignon." With the CS, you know who made this wine: Charles Smith. There is also the single vineyard, single expression, Bordeaux varietals (ex: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) produced in very limited quantities. Let's not to forget, the single vineyard Loire-style Substance Sauvignon Blanc. This is the newest chapter in the history books of Charles Smith and his wines.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Powerline Vineyard (which is all from Clone 2) is a brilliant, brilliant wine that’s loaded with ripe red, black, and blue fruit as well as notions of green herbs, tobacco, chocolate, and even hints of spiced meat. Complex and medium to full-bodied, with good acidity and a balanced, seamless mouthfeel, it’s already hard to resist yet is going to cruise of 15+ years in cold cellars. -Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
St. James Winery Strawberry is made from blackberries
11.4% Alcohol by Volume
13.4% Residual Sugar
Fresh picked strawberries never tasted this good. Our Strawberry wine, made from sweet vine ripened strawberries, is excellent served cold especially for dessert with pound cake or milk chocolate.
Select Wine Competition Awards:
2012 GOLD San Francisco Chronicle
2011 BEST OF SHOW San Diego
2011 BEST OF CLASS Pacific Rim
2011 GOLD Dallas Morning News
2011 GOLD Grand Harvest
2011 GOLD Winemaker Challenge International
2011 SILVER Monterey
2011 SILVER Florida State Fair International
2011 SILVER Los Angeles International
2011 SILVER Riverside
The Sciandri family, they are wonderful people. Mr. Sciandri was a firefighter. When he retired from the fire department, he planted some vines in the Coombsville AVA, near the Caldwell vineyard, with plans of selling the fruit to some esteemed wineries. The Sciandri family asked Hank if he would consider purchasing fruit and making a Cabernet from their vineyard. Hank wanted to support the family, and he also knew the vineyard was in a prime location (plus he has complete belief in his winemaker). Hank took 5 tons of Cabernet fruit from the Sciandri family in 2017. He made just 200 cases. This wine is entering the market with rave reviews from Hank’s largest critics. He wishes he could’ve made twice as much!
Our Cabernet Grapes came from The Sciandri Vineyard in the Coombsville area just east of the city of Napa. The 4 acre vineyard, planted with clone 337 has a western exposure that stays cool thru influences of the San Pablo Bay. This allows for long hang time that usually harvests at the end of October. The soil is well drained rocky hillside, primarily Hambright-Rock outcrop complex and Coombs gravelly loam.
The grapes came in small-berried, deep black-blue and loose on the clusters. Following a five day cold soak, the fermentation took seven days followed by a 14-day extended maceration. After which the wine was pressed and transferred to small French Oak barrels for aging. The wine was bottled in summer 2019 after twenty months of maturation in 80% new French oak barrels.
Aromas of dark plum, cassis and anise meld seamlessly with savory dried herbs. The mouth transforms into raspberry sweetness and a mineral note. This palate coating wine has a great toasted oak long finish. Wonderful now, this wine will however benefit from further bottle ageing reaching its peak in 3 to 6 years but drinkable for 10 years. Only 200 cases produced.
From a vineyard situated in Lake County that dates back to the 1880’s. Ruby red in color. 14.5% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, flowers and baking spices. Medium body with bright acidity. Fresh and elegant. Bing cherry, raspberry, strawberry and a touch of peach on the palate. The finish is exquisite. Drink over the next 2-4 years. $35 at the winery and retail. Zinfandel Chronicles 93 points.
““Lively and sleek, with floral raspberry, bay leaf and pepper flavors that glide toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025.—T.F. Wine Spectator, Insider Vol 14 No. 47 : March 31st, 2019 – 92pts
Betz Family Besoleil is made from 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault,
Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.
"Attractively complex aromas of cherries, kirsch, white pepper, spice, potpourri and licorice, it's medium to full-bodied, sappy and succulent, with velvety structuring tannins and bright acids." 94 pts - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate
"Bright raspberry and red-plum fruits with attractive depth and freshness. This has all you want in a Rhône-style blend. Good depth of flavor and focused structure." 93 pts - James Suckling
"Moving more and more from Olsen Vineyard, which is 20 miles northwest of Red Mountain (where they love working with the grower, who is proactive and responsive), the medium ruby/purple-colored 2016 Besoleil is 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault, all aged in a mix of neutral barrels. It offers beautiful notes of red plums, blueberries, white and black pepper and herbs de Provence, medium to full-bodied richness, a silky, elegant style, and integrated acidity. It's another beautiful vintage of this wine that will keep for a decade." 92 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck
Boich Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
22 months in French Oak- Taransaud and Darnajou
Thick, dense and expansive, the Missouri Hopper shows dark fig and cassis preserves, dried cherry and strawberry. Clone 337 from this historic site in southeast Oakville, a touch of molasses and stick spices linger throughout. Despite its saturation and size on the palate, the flavors roll perfectly together through a long and inky finish. This wine has the ability to taste great upon release and cellar well beyond while building complexity and nuance.
Vintage Notes – The fifth consecutively exceptional year for Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 growing season brought early bud break and spring rain. Temperate summer conditions allowed the fruit much needed time to naturally mature on the vine. A near perfect vintage, most vineyards saw slightly lower than average yields, but this coveted crop shows tremendous quality.
Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper – One of Napa Valley’s oldest vineyards, Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper yields ripe fruit full of balance and power. Perfectly trellised vines soak up morning fog from the San Pablo Bay, while the robust foliage of the vines protect growing clusters from summer heat.
Oakville AVA – Lying along the valley floor, Napa Valley’s Oakville AVA brings the best of climate, soil and topography to wine growing. Beyond terroir, Oakville is lined with family-owned vineyards, meticulous farmers and winemakers. Fertile soils promote world-class grape growing conditions, while warm summers and dry, cool autumns are perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon.
From another great site farmed by the famous Beckstoffer, this is grainy, textured and robustly ripe. Powerfully built to age and impress, it offers a wealth of lush, layered blue fruit and black licorice, as well as impressive structure. Enjoy 2026–2031. -Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
100% air-dried Chenin blanc
"The secret to Straw Wine is harvesting grapes at normal ripeness levels to capture a healthy acidity, which is concentrated along with the intense Chenin blanc flavors, and sugar into a super intense, but balanced treat."
Source of Grapes: Grapes for our 2013 Straw Wine were sourced from one parcel of 33 year-old Chenin blanc planted in the stony Shale and Schist based soils of Riebeek Kasteel Mountain, and one parcel of 40+ year-old dry land, bush vine Chenin blanc grown in the decomposed Granite of the Paardeberg mountain. These are our parcels that give us the best acidity at harvest.
Tasting Note: Deep golden straw in color, with a rich, viscous appearance. The nose is a complex, enticing blend of dried peaches, apricots and marmalade, with savory, nutty aromas of almonds, marzipan and honey. The intense, dizzying mouthfeel is balanced by a clean, fresh and very long finish of dried apricots. The wine is best served chilled at 9 to 11 C.
The Mullineux Family Winery Estate
This is a small, highly focused family winery producing a select family of hand-crafted wines from the granite and shale based terroirs of the Swartland Region of South Africa.
Chris was born in Cape Town, raised in Johannesburg, and introduced to the world of wine while studying accountancy at the University of Stellenbosch. After braving his way through accounting, he enrolled into winemaking for a second degree, and on graduating took a position starting up a boutique organic winery in Tulbagh, where he was in charge of the vineyards and cellar for 5 very enjoyable years. In addition to stints at de Trafford and Rustenberg wineries in South Africa, Chris has also worked harvests at top wineries in Cote Rotie, Bandol, the Languedoc, Roussillon, and California. Over the years Chris has had good exposure to the people, vineyards and wines of the Swartland. This has lead to a growing love for, and firm belief in the region, and he looks forward to many creative and hard working vintages in this region with his family.
Andrea developed her passion for wine at the family dinner table, growing up in San Francisco. After studying Viticulture and Oenology at UC Davis and completing a handful of harvests in the Napa Valley, Andrea decided to broaden her winemaking knowledge overseas. After a harvest in Stellenbosch, she went on to work in Chateauneuf and, on the same trip, met Chris at a wine festival in Champagne! Andrea's love for South African wine (and Chris) brought her back to South Africa where they learnt that their compatibility extended into the vineyards and cellar. When Andrea is not hard at work in the cellar, her creative energies flow into the kitchen where she loves cooking up a storm, glass of wine in hand.
The Mullineux Family Winery Vineyards
Very low summer rainfall coupled with afternoon and evening breezes off the Atlantic Ocean result in low disease pressure. Vineyards are often planted in amongst the natural rhenoster veldt and fynbos, which provide refuge for predators of vineyard pests, and help reduce the spread of disease. Weeds struggle to establish themselves and spread, making it easier to control them without the need of herbicides.
Chris and Andrea have put together a group vineyards in the most interesting parts of the Swartland, which are mostly found around the shale and schist based Riebeek Kasteel Mountain, and the granite based Paardeberg mountain.
Lammershoek - The deep white, granitic soils on Lammershoek produce wines that are exceptionally pure, with a granitic perfume that shines through in red and white varieties.
Kasteelsig - The soils, found on the rolling hills north of Malmesbury, are a deep combination of red gravel and iron, and produce dark, concentrated wines that are the flesh of our blends.
Kloovenburg - The highly varied row directions and aspects bring much complexity to wines, and the high shale content of the soils gives serious structure, and brings an earthy spicy character to syrah planted in them.
Mountain View - The soils are shale based, which drain easily, reducing vigor and providing grapes of perfume, freshness and structure.
The vineyards are planted with grape varieties (which are mostly Mediterranean in origin) that are ideally suited to the environment, and are farmed sustainably and in harmony with their surroundings: Syrah, Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Viognier.
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.