Rich black currant and cassis flavors, dried cherry and chocolate finish soft and long. A touch of violet character adds distinction with some tawny beginning to develop. The very best barrels from 2012 were blended and aged 4 years in 37% New American Oak, 20% 2nd fill French & Minnesota Oak. The blend is composed of the following varietals from each specified location: Merlot 72% (Eastern Slope of Atlas Peak), Cabernet 10%(Rutherford Chaix Estate), Petite Verdot 12% (Howell Mountain) and Field Blend 6% (St. Helena). 400 cases made.
Begun in 1978, Dave Dickson’s home-winery beat all the major commercial brands to win Best of Show at the 1983 Napa County Fair. A few decades later his eldest son, the winery was renamed after his two sons Andrew and Lane, and with Drew as winemaker, became a licensed, commercial winery, drawing attention with features in the Wall Street Journal, Napa Valley Wine Library Association, Food & Wine, Culinary Trends and Gourmet Magazine. Typical of Napa wineries in the 1970s, they made wines now considered unusual, including Napa Gamay, French Colombard, Carignan and Petaserra. Their first commercially available Cabernet Sauvignon was released in 2004.
Under Drew’s operation and winemaking, the winery began partnering with long-time friends who are growers in Napa Valley. Today they source Cabernet, Merlot and Old Italian-American varietals from Rutherford, St. Helena, East Oakville and Howell Mountain. All grapes are family farmed with bare-hands by those living on the vineyard personally. The grapes are picked in multiple passes whenever possible to achieve variation in acid and greater flavor range.
Second generation winemaker Andrew Dickson learned everything from his father. Early, commercial production focused on Napa Gamay Nouveau and Cru Gamay wines using varying degrees of carbonic maceration and whole cluster fermentation. The success of these wines and an old Italian field blend soon attracted top growers and in 2004 the winery began working fruit from Rutherford, Saint Helena and Howell Mountain. Today the focus is Bordeaux varietals from Napa Valley and surrounding areas which offer more affordability. Farming techniques and vineyard analysis learned in Napa is now performed on a very high level all over Northern California, resulting in superb quality wines from exciting new locations – which is especially fortunate given the present day radical upward shift in Napa Valley fruit pricing.