Napa Valley

Napa Valley received its designation as an AVA in 1981. Situated on 43,000 acres, Napa Valley is home to sub-appellations Los Carneros, Howell Mountain, Wild Horse Valley, Stags Leap District, Mt. Veeder, Atlas Peak, Spring Mountain District, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, Chiles Valley, Yountville, Diamond Mountain District, Coombsville, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, and Calistoga. The Napa Valley floor is flanked by the Mayacamas Mountain Range on the western and northern sides the Vaca Mountains on the eastern side. The floor of the main valley gradually rises from sea level at the southern end to 362 feet above sea level at the northern end in Calistoga at the foot of Mount Saint Helena. The Oakville and Rutherford AVAs lie within a geographical area known as the Rutherford Bench in the center of the valley floor. The soil at the southern end of the valley consists mainly of sediments deposited by earlier advances and retreats of San Pablo Bay while the soil at the northern end of the valley contains a large volume of volcanic lava and ash. Several microclimates exist within the area due to various weather and geographical influences in the different sub-appellations. The open southern end of the valley floor is cooler during the growing season due to the proximity of San Pablo Bay while the sheltered, closed northern end is often much warmer. The eastern side of the valley tends to be arid because winter storms tend to drop much more precipitation on the western mountains and hills. Napa Valley is known for its world-class production of Cabernet Sauvignon but also produces Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Image of the Napa Valley AVA map

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2009 Humanitas 'Signum' Napa Valley
$ 75.00

There is an immediate sense of cigar wrapper & leather that opens to cocoa, cassis, cola and a bit of pomegranate juice mixed with warm blackberry purée...

Winemaker’s Comments

Sugarloaf Mountain offers a unique terroir for Bordeaux varietals in the Napa Valley. Unlike warmer vineyards up-valley, the climate of Sugarloaf naturally provides a longer hang-time resulting in profound color and flavor intensity. Combined with a southwestern exposure and a rock-laden soil harvesting the sun’s energy, this extraordinary terroir delivers the exceptional ripeness necessary for both the power and complexity required of great Cabernet- and Merlot-based wines.

The Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard lies in the heart of the Napa Valley’s emerging Coombsville region. Recognized for its unique terroir for over 40 years, the Coombsville area is now the newest official AVA in Napa. Located on gently-sloping terrain, this site provides a micro-climate perfectly suited to growing muscular Bordeaux-varietal wines exhibiting the distinctive terroir of this cool growing region.

Wine Description

The wine is dense, dark and intense! There is an immediate sense of cigar wrapper & leather that opens to cocoa, cassis, cola and a bit of pomegranate juice mixed with warm blackberry purée. Let the wine sit in the glass and experience it change over time with several of these flavors moving to the forefront for a bit, then stepping back to let another take the lead. It is a muscular wine, no doubt, but with a hugely rewarding finish of vanilla, cocoa and almost a velvety texture.

Alcohol: 14.8%
Bottling Date: July 8, 2011
Appellation: 100% Napa Valley
Blend: 69% Cabernet Sauvignon,  16% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot
Wood: 18 mo. New French Oak

Limited Production - 132 Cases

2010 Anthem Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard
$ 135.00

Wine Spectator 93 Points

$9.99 shipping on orders of 1-2 bottles. 
$0.01 shipping on all orders of 3 or more 

Packed with intensity, Anthem's first vintage from this famous Beckstoffer vineyards in St. Helena could not be a stronger introduction. On the nose, the 2010 Las Piedras is all dark fruits with loads of blackberries, black cherries and lingering hint of espresso bean. The palate is plush and full weight with more dark fruit, espresso bean, dark chocolate, mint, and a touch of sweet oak, as well as incredible length and complexity. Although very enjoyable now, this Cabernet will peak in 5-10 years and will continue to age and evolve well beyond that. 

300 Cases Produced

2010 Anthem Mt. Veeder Estate Merlot
$ 99.00

Wine Spectator - 93 Points

Second Highest Rated Merlot By Wine Spectator In 2010

$9.99 shipping on orders of 1-2 bottles. 
$0.01 shipping on all orders of 3 or more 

Anthem's inaugural vintage of Merlot is a Cab-lover's Merlot, and is an incredibly deep, intense wine. The 2010 Merlot's aromatics are dominated by plumbs, black berries, charcoal and dark chocolate. On the palate, there are red fruits (raspberries, red cherries) as well as melted fudge, roasted meats and licorice that tail off into a smooth and amazingly long finish. Although it is hard to imagine a better Merlot, this wine will age and improve beautifully for at least another 5-7 years and pairs well with any pasta or meat dish. Grown on Mount Veeder. Drink now through 2019. 

125 Cases Produced

2010 Schlein Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
$ 60.00

Oakville is one of the warmest regions in the Napa Valley and ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. 2010 was an excellent vintage because of the ideal weather conditions: light spring rains followed by warm summer days and no abrupt climate changes throughout the season.  As a result, the grapes achieved a perfect even ripening and were aromatic and very well balanced, which allowed us to be highly selective at harvest.

Our 2010 Estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon is imbued with an alluring perfume of black currant, and Bing cherry with hints of mocha followed by the luscious flavors of blackberries and spice that are accentuated by sweet vanilla and violets.  The palate is silky smooth with abundant blackberry and sweet plum flavors followed by mouth-watering tannins for a long and lingering finish.

Our 2010 vintage has been aged in a combination of new and aged French Oak barrels for two years and then bottled and stored in a temperature-controlled wine cellar for another two years. As a family, we are committed to creating a balanced Cabernet meant to compliment food and warm the soul without ever overwhelming the senses. 

2011 Anthem Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard
$ 95.00

$9.99 shipping on orders of 1-2 bottles. 
$0.01 shipping on all orders of 3 or more 

Our 2011 Anthem Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet is a testament to how much a great site with well drained, rocky soils can mean. This wine shows great bright red fruits, spicy smoked meats, and spice. On the palate, it is full weight and incredibly smooth and seamless, exhibiting more red fruits along with dark chocolate, licorice, and candid cherries. This Cabernet has tremendous elegance, suppleness, and breadth, and will be superb with any meat dish. Exquisite to drink now, and will be even better in 3-8 years.

Our 2011 St. Helena harvest was later than usual. Early autumn rains prompted many to harvest their grapes at lower Brix, but we took our chances and successfully weathered the storm so that we could pick fully ripe grapes of the highest quality. Due to the beautiful sunny, dry weather in the weeks before our arrest, our 2011 wine has gorgeous color, and deep, complex flavors.

300 Cases Produced

2011 Anthem Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Mt. Veeder
$ 95.00

$9.99 shipping on orders of 1-2 bottles. 
$0.01 shipping on all orders of 3 or more 

The 2011 Anthem Mt. Veeder Estate Cabernet is a special and unique 2011 Napa Cabernet. In addition to being the first Cabernet produced from Anthem’s incredible estate, this wine shows the exquisite structure, richness and depth that only came from mountain fruit in 2011.

The nose on our 2011 Mt. Veeder Estate Cabernet is incredibly complex with sage, mint, gunpowder, blackberries and black cherries. On the palate, it has tremendous density and richness as well as firm tannins, and is packed with roasted meats, graphite, tobacco and earth. Truly a monument to mountain Cabernet. Will benefit from decanting, and drink between 2015 and 2025.

300 Cases Produced

2011 Humanitas 'Good Earth' Cabernet Sauvignon Reid Vineyard
$ 60.00

Be the inner chef! Take a little white pepper, throw in some dark fruits like raspberries, blueberries and even some cranberries, toss in some chocolate, fresh Bing cherries, a little cola, and a dose of baseball glove leather (seriously!) and you’ve got the complex nose of the Reid Vineyards Cab. On one hand it's ‘classic’ Napa Cab, and on the other hand it's uniquely Reid with a tantalizing dose of winemaker Rob Lloyd. Think classic, yet dynamic and mysterious. It calls out for a classic steak dish or a bold roast. And music always completes the vibe. Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Mozart, Beatles, Pearl Jam?

Winemaker’s Comments

The ‘Good Earth’ tier celebrates specific vineyards showcasing a distinct style of a particular varietal unique to that vineyard site. Reid Vineyards is quintessential Napa Cab…just plain ‘Up-Valley’ great stuff.

This vineyard is a) tiny; b) distinct; and c) consistently awesome.  There is a chocolate/cocoa quality mixed with dark cherries and a little cola that is intrinsic in the fruit.  You can’t ‘beat the terrroir’ out of those qualities out even if you wanted to (and why would you?).  The flavors come from the vineyard…as it should be.  All a winemaker can do is ‘deliver’ those attributes like a doctor delivers a baby…the mother (ie, the vineyard) really does all the work!

Wine Description

Be the inner chef!  Take a little white pepper, throw in some dark fruits like raspberries, blueberries and even some cranberries, toss in some chocolate, fresh Bing cherries, a little cola, and a dose of baseball glove leather (seriously!) and you’ve got the complex nose of the Reid Vineyards Cab.

In the mouth, the Reid Cabernet Sauvignon is something special.  On one hand it is ‘classic’ Napa Cab, and on the other hand it is uniquely Reid with a tantalizing dose of winemaker Rob Lloyd.  It is on one hand brooding & complex, and on the other fun and inviting (like Rob!).  Think classic, yet dynamic and mysterious.  It calls out for either a classic steak dish…or something bold, yet relevant.  How does a comfort food roast sound…or something like a short rib dish?  And music always completes the vibe.  Maybe a playlist of Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Mozart, the Beatles and Pearl Jam (yeah…we just said Pearl Jam was ‘that’ kind of classic!) is in order?

Alcohol: 14.1%
Bottling Date: August 21, 2013
Appellation: Napa ‘Reid Vineyard’ Designation
Blend: 100% Reid Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Wood: 18 months French Oak

Limited Production - 286 Cases

2011 Sabina Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
$ 125.00

Winemaker Tasting Notes

This Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and concentrated with well-defined acidity and lush tannins. Dark cherry, currant, and blackberry abound in the aroma, followed by a chocolate, herbal flavor profile wrapped in cassis and black cherry. The blend of vibrant fruit and earthy notes are made complete with a long finish and smooth, lingering tannins. This wine is amazingly approachable now and will age gracefully for a solid 10+ years.

Winemaker Notes

Just like other growers in the Napa Valley during the 2011 harvest season, Sabina Vineyards also had to wait out the rains and time out the grape picking dates just right. The Estate Vineyard was harvested on 2 separate days allowing both lots to have slightly different flavor profiles which was an advantage when making the final blend.

Vineyard Notes


What began with a wet winter and spring, continued with rainfall into mid-June with few high heat events occurring at any point during the growing season. The cool weather delayed bloom and the cloud cover and cool temperatures delayed vine development by several weeks at the onset of the growing season. This set the stage for a long and cooler-than-average growing season with a later-than-average harvest start date.

Waiting patiently to pick until the fruit was mature paid off. Quality was very good with excellent structure and length on the palate. While quantity was somewhat lower than usual, the fruit harvested in 2011 made for well-balanced wines with good intensity, structure and texture with a brightness of flavor.

 

2012 Humanitas 'Good Earth' Pinot Noir Truchard Vineyard
$ 55.00

Our 2012 'Truchard Vineyard Pinot Noir from the Carneros region of Napa Valley begins with leather and smoke, then opens to ripe cranberry and raspberry fruit with a hint of smoked meats. 'Earth' comes to mind - followed by black cherry juice, maybe some ripe tomato, mushrooms and cinnamon. On the palate, the wine is so inviting, with strawberry jam, vanilla, rhubarb, truffle & cinnamon all wrapped around a hint of caramel apple. Think either a big, thick salmon steal grilled with some hickory chips or a tasty rib-eye grilled just past rare. Throw in a little acoustic guitar, good friends, some heady conversation, and you've got the perfect setting to enjoy this truly stunning wine.

Winemaker’s Comments

The ‘Good Earth’ tier celebrates specific vineyards showcasing a distinct style of a particular varietal  unique to that vineyard site. There is something about the soil at Truchard Vineyard that is very clearly distinct to this site and perfect for Pinot Noir. Maybe it is the soil, maybe it is the slope, maybe is the aspect to the sun, maybe it is the hand of the grower…or a combo of all…but it is clear this tastes like the place. 

Truchard Vineyard is renowned as a shining example of all that the Carneros has to offer. Planting to the combination of Martini & Swan clones for this particular site was genius. Concentrated berries yield an intense, stylistic Pinot Noir that is signature ‘Truchard’. It is a dazzling expression of the Carneros.  

Wine Description

Our Humanitas 2012 ‘Truchard Vineyard’ Pinot Noir begins with leather & smoke, and opens to ripe cranberry & raspberry fruit with a hint of smoked meats. ‘Earth’ comes to mind…followed by black cherry juice, maybe some ripe tomato, mushrooms & cinnamon. Lots happening in the glass! 

On the palate, the wine is so inviting, with strawberry jam, vanilla, rhubarb, truffle & cinnamon all wrapped around a hint of a caramel apple. It is at once complex yet so easy to sip. I’m thinking that either a big, thick salmon steak grilled with some hickory chips or a tasty rib-eye grilled just past rare would do the trick. Throw in a little acoustic guitar, some good friends & some heady conversation and you’ve got a pretty nice setting to enjoy this truly stunning wine. 

Alcohol: 14.8%
Bottling Date: August 26, 2013
Appellation: Carneros – Napa ‘Truchard Vineyard’ Designation
Blend: 100% Truchard Vineyards Pinot Noir
Clones: Martini & Swan
Wood: 10 months French Oak

Limited Production - 501 Cases 

2012 Humanitas 'Signum' Napa Valley
$ 100.00

Signum: Latin for something that marks or identifies. We're more than comfortable making the 2012 Signum our identifying wine with its succulent, harmonious cacophony of blackberry, ripe wild strawberry, candied current and tobacco leaf. This is the elixir that seems to call out the stars on a cloudy night, and hasten our conversations to new existential depths. It's unfiltered, smooth, smudged with graphite, ready to chill out in your cellar for the next decade or emerge tonight paired with Coltrane's A Love Supreme, and maybe your love supreme?

Composition: 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Calistoga, Napa Carneros, Rutherford, Napa Valley
Aging: 22 months in 70% new French oak, unfiltered
Harvest Date: October 18 & 26, 2012

2012 Humanitas Merlot Truchard
$ 50.00

Any who dare discount the noble Merlot, need not drink here! We love Merlot for its finesse, its mystery, its grace and power. We love the Truchard vineyard where these grapes are grown. This sweet spot, resting on a south facing hillside hidden far away from the road and passers-by provides just the sort of cool evenings and long, warm days that Merlot favors. Soft, sweet, juicy aromas of blueberry, pepper and fig bound from the glass making way for soft black cherry, tobacco leaf and cola on the palate. The ecstasy of its long, complicated finish calls for a dreamy, dramatic aria - Caro Mio Ben perhaps? - and if you can play it on vinyl, even better.

Composition: 99% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Napa Carneros
Aging: 20 months in French and American oak
Alcohol: 14.1% abv
Harvest Date: October 18, 2012

2013 Humanitas 'Good Earth" Sauvignon Blanc 'George's Vineyard'
$ 30.00

This Sauvignon Blanc opens on the nose with that bright, effervescent nose of white peaches, pears, a little honeydew melon. On the palate, there is a little spritz - by design - to deliver the exceptional acid and flavors. In the mouth, the delightfully crisp acid marries with the white peaches, pears, honeydew, and a little ruby red grapefruit. This wine is so bright, bouncy, and vibrant it craves music -- honestly, grab some classic being music and put your groove on with abandon and let loose!

Winemaker’s Comments:

The ‘Good Earth’ tier celebrates specific vineyards showcasing a distinct style of a particular varietal unique to that vineyard site.  George Shank’s vineyard in Wooden Valley (Napa) has something in the soil that expresses such a beautiful assembly of flavors and textures it is hard describe.  It could be the Entav clone in conjunction with the site – but the resulting white peach nectar, pear juice and red grapefruit is hard to reproduce.  

George Shanks Vineyard is a jewel. It is one of the best expressions of the Sauvignon Blanc grape available in Napa.  Period.

Wine Description:

The Humanitas 2013 ‘George’s Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc opens on the nose with that bright, effervescent nose of white peaches, pears, a little honeydew melon.   On the palate, there is a little spritz…by design…to deliver the exceptional acid and flavors.  And in the mouth, that delightfully crisp acid marries with the white peaches, pears, honeydew…and a little ruby red grapefruit to deliver an unparalleled Sauvignon Blanc experience.  Holy Moly this is a good wine…time for a second glass!

As the wine settles on the palate, an almost creamy texture complements the crisp acidity and bright fruit.  It craves fresh oysters (oh wait, that’s me!) or a simple sole sautéed in light olive oil (ok…make it butter!) or some prosciutto wrapped melon.  But a beautiful local Chevre on a tangy sourdough might just be divine.  One way to find out!  And this bright and bouncy vibrant wine just craves music – honestly, grab some classic swing music and put your groove on with abandon and let loose!

Alcohol: 14.9%
Bottling Date: March 12, 2014
Appellation: Napa ‘George’s Vineyard’ Designation
Blend: 100% George’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
Clones: Entav & Clone 1        
Wood: None

Limited Production - 298 Cases

2013 Picayune Cellars Padlock Red Blend
$ 29.00

Tasting Notes

Dark Ruby color, deep layers of black cherries, cassis, blackberries, cocoa, currants and bit of truffle on the nose, the wine is beautiful and seductive. An elegant, round, and rich mid-palate with an attractive texture and excellent acidity, Padlock, our first red blend, is sexy but well balanced with good depth and length.

Appellation: 100% Napa Valley

Varietal: 73% Merlot - 21% Cabernet Sauvignon - 6% Cabernet Franc

Fermentation: 10 -14-day fermentation in open top and median sized fermenters all cap irrigated with peak temps of between 80 -85 F. All wine was aged in 60 gallon French barrels for 15 months. Wines were racked every four months and assemble two months before bottling.

Alcohol: 13.7%

Limited Production - 600 Cases

2013 Playground Cellars Playground Proprietary Red
$ 48.00

Only 25 cases available!!! This has been the find of the year.  85% St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Oak Knoll Merlot.  We keep hearing the same reaction from people when tasting this amazing wine from the barrel “I want to drink all of this now”.

Tasting Notes

Blackberry all the way with leather and violets living in harmony. A faint hint of orange blossom points to the fresh fruit while the tannins showcase the French Oak

Vintage: 2013
Varietal(s): 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot
Appellation: Napa Valley (St. Helena/Oak Knoll)
Alc: 14.8%


Limited Production 25 cases

2014 Essere Franco Cabernet Sauvignon
$ 110.00

James Suckling - 90 Points

From our Reverence vineyard in Coombsville. With its dense purple color, this Cabernet exudes dark berries and is lush, full, intense, and pure. With a full-bodied mouth feel it epitomizes the essence of a Napa Valley Cab.

Located on the south-eastern side of Napa, Reverence Vineyard is characterized by its slightly cooler climate conditions and for its diverse landscape of lightly hilly terrain with rocky mineral rich volcanic soils. The vineyard was planted in 2002 with an array of Cabernet Sauvignon clones, and 110R & 101-14 rootstocks. The perfect balance of challenging typography and a mild climate is ideal for producing low yielding yet intensely complex fruit. Our ultra premium Cabernet Sauvignon grapes reflect the intensity of this varietal while maintaining a classic delicacy and finesse.

 

 

2014 Essere Franco Sauvignon Blanc
$ 35.00

The fruit for the 2014 Essere Franco Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Las Cerezas Vineyard in Napa Valley's Yountville viticultural area.  Aged 12 months in 80% new French Oak, this wine maintains a crisp acidic edge with a medium body. With fruit flavors of green apple and passion fruit, and a flowery peach nose, our Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for your afternoon picnic. Best served with grilled fish or white meats especially if prepared with a creamy sauce with spring vegetables.  

Only 143 cases produced.

Alc. – 15.5%

2014 Oak Cliff Cellars Napa Pinot Noir
$ 45.00

$20 flat fee shipping on purchases of 1-12 bottles

Tasting Notes

This Pinot Noir is still very young, will cellar for years to come and needs some decanting, if only in the glass, for the full bouquet to evolve. Brilliant garnet in color, the flavor profile starts out with cherry/black cherry and cedar, and as the wine opens up with flavors of orange zest, fig, butterscotch, cardamom and black tea, with a long, silky finish. Pair this wine with turkey, ham, salmon and savory vegetarian dishes like stuffed mushrooms or ratatouille.

Terroir

This old vines vineyard of Pinot Noir was planted nearly 50 years ago (1966) by Pat and Duncan Haynes in what is now the Coombsville AVA, east of the city of Napa. Proximity to San Pablo Bay contributes to the temperate climate of Coombsville, with cooling effects of marine air and fog occur almost daily during the growing season Located in the wide alluvial deposits created by the wearing down of the hillsides, the Coombsville soils contain abundant rock, gravel and, in some areas, are layered with volcanic ash deposits from Mount George.

 

Blend:            100% Pinot Noir
Region:          Coombsville AVA, Napa Valley 
Alcohol:         14.05%

Limited Production - 105 Cases

2014 Picayune Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma & Napa
$ 21.00

Tasting Notes 

Fresh aromas of lemon, Asian pear and stone fruits.  The palate is bright and lively with lime zest, lemon verbena, and a hint of hay. The wine is balanced with a good acidity and a nice mineral finish. Fresh, delicate, attractive, yet rich at the same time. Drink on its own or pair with seafood, poultry, spicy food and anything that inspires you.

Appellation: 56% Sonoma County  44% Napa County

Fermentation: (70%)stainless steel barrels, and (20%)neutral French oak barrels, (10%)Cement egg

Alcohol: 13.5%

Limited Production - 480 Cases

Counter Punch 2012 Merlot
Starting at: $ 40.50

5% discount on purchases of 6-11 bottles
10% discount on purchases of a case

Harvest Information 

The grapes for the 2012 Counter Punch Merlot were hand-harvested on September 28, 2012 from the Los Carneros AVA of Napa Valley at 24.0 Brix. "Classic" and "Perfect" are just two accolades being bestowed upon the 2012 Napa Valley growing season and harvest. Textbook conditions saw near-ideal spring bud break, steady flowering, even fruit set, and a lengthy stretch of warm days and cool and often foggy nights during the long summer months. Late and light rains held off until the grapes found optimal ripeness, bringing exceptional quality to the crush pad and into the cellar. 

Winemaking Information

The fruit arrived at the winery in small 1/2 ton bins where destemming and hand-sorting occurred. Fermentation proceeded in a small bin for eight days. The free-run was transferred directly into neutral barrels for settling. After settling, the young wine was racked from the neutral barrels into new American oak barrels (from trees grown in Minnesota) where it aged for an additional year. The wine was polish filtered and bottled in April 2014. 

Production Limited To 50 Cases

GV Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir Carneros/ Napa Valley
Sold Out

This lively Pinot Noir was fermented in 20% new French Oak for 2 years, which leads to a smooth finish that suggests the sumptuous flavors of Creme Brûlée. Notes of Bing Cherries and red fruits bring out a slight tartness which adds texture and complexity to his medium bodied wine.