This is a limited En Primeur offer, spanning a number of vintages, from a world class producer that still manages to offer value in the incredibly competitive and increasingly out of reach pantheon of fine Californian wine.
This organic and biodynamically run estate was first planted to vines in the 1880s. It is 162 acres (65.5ha) situated in the northeast Napa Valley at the foot of the Palisades Mountain range. In 1969 Milton and Barbara Eisele purchased the property, gave their name to it and spent the next 20 years establishing the vineyards. In 1971 they offered their fruit to renown winemaker Paul Draper of Ridge Winery who in 1971 created the first Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon. Since 2013 the estate has been part of the Artemis Group and the Pinault family, whose other properties include Château Latour in Bordeaux; Domaine d’Eugenie and Clos de Tart in Burgundy; and Château Grillet in the Rhône Valley.
Located in the Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara, the home of The Hilt is the large patchwork of aspects and microclimates of Rancho Salsipuedes. The coolest wine growing area in the state of California benefits from winds whipping through the Sta. Rita Hills AVA and the most prized vineyards of The Hilt maximise the cool maritime climate, facing north to allow slow ripening throughout the growing season retaining acidity in the grapes. The vineyards are all planted on poor soils that force vines to dig deep for nutrients and naturally limiting the vigour of the vines. Low yields of concentrated grapes translate to complex wines that winemaker Matt Dees strives to showcase the elegance and precision that makes The Hilt wines stand out within the AVA. Founded in 2008, The Hilt is now owned by Stan Kroenke, owner of Screaming Eagle and Bonneau du Martray to go with his ownership of Arsenal FC
The Monte Bello site of Ridge Vineyards lies 2600 feet above sea level in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is a winding tortuous drive up a road more reminiscent of an alpine pass than of America. The altitude here ensures a slow ripening process and the results are more European than most would expect. The vineyard was originally planted in 1885. Paul Draper has been the driving force here having joined in 1969 and is often described as a Professor or Philosopher as well as a wine-maker. In the re-enactment of the 1973 tasting in Paris that shook the Wine world it was Ridge’s 1971 Monte Bello that took the top honours both in the UK and in the USA. There are 3 sites: Monte Bello on the Santa Cruz Mountains predominantly Cabernet based wines. Geyserville (pronounced Guyzervil not Geezervil!) in the Alexander Valley North of the Napa in Sonoma County, where the wine is predominantly Zinfandel. Finally Lytton Springs south of Geyserville between Dry Creek and Alexander Valley again mostly Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.
Located in the San Luis Obispo Coast region of California, this cool climate influenced by Pacific breezes is the perfect terroir to make elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Since the first Rincon Vineyard was planted in 1982 by Don Talley, the family have unashamedly pursued creating Burgundian style wines with minerality and energy born of a long cool growing season in the fog laden ridges of Central Coast.
“If the Kistler Winery could be magically transported to the middle of Burgundy’s Cote d’Or, it would quickly gain a reputation as glorious as any producer of Burgundy grand crus.” – Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Roserock continues Domaine Joseph Drouhin’s commitment to Oregon, with the purchase of vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of the Willamette Valley in 2013. Roserock is marked by volcanic soils and cooler temperatures at elevation to allow production of wines in a Burgundian style. Nuance, elegance and complexity are all the watchwords of this project that Philippe Drouhin and Véronique Boss-Drouhin oversee to complement the history of the Domaine Joseph Drouhin name which first purchased land in Dundee Hills in 1987.
On the north western reaches of the Sonoma Coast at 1,100 feet, sits the stunning Wayfarer Vineyard, just 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. This dramatic landscape is the home to their 30 acres, planted on slopes among winding mountain roads and redwoods. Originally designed in one-acre plots devoted to different clones, Wayfarer produces a number of individual expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 16 different clones. The first vintage of Wayfarer was produced in 2012, ten years after the vineyard was planted. Founded by Jayson Pahlmeyer, his daughter Cleo is now at helm alongside winemaker, Todd Kohn.
Founded in 2005, John Raytek and his team have made it their mission to produce wines that truly reflect the terroir of the cool, rugged, and wild northern Californian coastal regions. The focus is on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from vineyards throughout the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley, farmed along biodynamic lines, with a flexible, low-intervention winemaking ethos.