June Featured Wines

Flight Members – Receive one bottle each of the following wines.  $300.00, +$9.99 shipping

Elite Members – Receive two bottles each of the following wines.  $600.00, free shipping

2018 Somnium Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot

320 cases produced | $75/bottle

Vineyard: Somnium Estate (5 feet below Howell Mtn.) and Coombsville 

Winemaker:  Julien Fayard | Resume Covert Estate, Lafite Rothschild,

Smith Haut Laffite.

Cellaring: Decant, amazing vintage with balance, ideal drinking window now-2030 – TFWC Tasting Panel, 2021

Owner’s Background: Danica Patrick is best known for her prowess behind the wheel of a racecar. She’s garnered international attention for breaking barriers and succeeding in the male-dominated world of professional motorsports. 

Danica started racing go-karts at the age of 10 and worked her way up through the ranks. She burst onto the scene in May 2005 when she stunned the world by leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first Indianapolis 500, becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race. Three years later, in April 2008, Danica became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series with her victory in the IndyCar Series Indy Japan 300.

Her path to appreciating fine wines, which ultimately led to creating Somnium, took root early on during her days in England where she developed a palate for dry white wines like Sancerre and Chablis. It was also here where Danica learned to cook, first out of necessity as she gravitated towards a healthy lifestyle, and later out of interest and growth as she discovered different indigenous dishes during her worldwide travels to places like New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Back on domestic soil, Danica’s taste and interest in wine continued to grow as she developed an affinity for red wine. In 2006, while in town for an event at Sonoma Raceway, she experienced the first of many magical moments in Napa Valley as she sipped wine on a Howell Mountain hill top. From there, a winery and post racing career was born.

Winemaker, Julien Fayard. With more than two decades of winemaking expertise, Julien Fayard is one of Napa Valley’s most respected winemakers producing California varietals with French finesse. He believes in producing wines with an identity, exploiting what makes each one unique. Julien’s wines are a pure expression of their terroir, highlighting the specificities and characteristics of the fruit, vineyard management, soil and climate. He has a track record of building brands both in terms of quality and market presence. 

Originally from France, Julien began his career as a winemaker producing quality rosé at his family’s winery in Provence. In Bordeaux he worked at Lafite Rothschild and Smith Haut Laffite before relocating to Napa Valley. In Napa, he was Philippe Melka’s director of winemaking for a few years before launching his own projects.

Julien earned his Master in Agri-Business from ESA France and his Master in Winemaking from Toulouse France. In 2011, he received his MBA from UC Davis. 

Tasting notes: Seamless season marked by optimal hangtimes and exemplary phenolic development. February brought bountiful rains, followed by an abundance of filtered light in spring and early summer. Bud break and flowering occurred slightly later in 2018, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set. Summer virtually uninterrupted by major heat spikes. A relatively mild summer followed by extended fall sunshine and moderate hear created near-ideal conditions for winemakers to allow fruit to accumulate flavor complexity with gradual increases in sugar levels.

In the vineyard, the Somnium Estate sits on the flanks of Howell Mountain at 1,300 feet and faces directly west and southwest, benefitting from maximum sun exposure. The high elevation keeps the estate vineyard, on average, five degrees cooler than the valley floor, resulting in a steady growing seasons. This wine was harvested from blocks 3, 4, 6, and 7 then blended together from one of the oldest Merlot blocks in Coombsville, situated on a rocky hillside with well-drained soil.

The 2018 Somnium Cabernet Sauvignon is aromatic and fresh with intense blackberry, black currant and blueberry flavors. Cherry fills the mouth, with hints of rosemary, sage and earthy notes on the end palate, followed by a smooth, soft finish.

2016 B Wise Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

100% Cabernet Sauvignon | 200 cases produced | $125/bottle

Vineyard: Coombsville, Yountville and Oakville.

Winemaker:  Mark Herold, formerly making wines at Joseph Phelps, Merus.

Cellaring: ten year aging window, decant upon opening – TFWC Tasting Panel, April 2021

Owner’s Background: Brion Wise describes the emotional part is always development. He was never interested in buying into something already finished. He want to be part of the process from the ground up. It was in 1993 that he went out to California looking for vineyard land. He was originally attracted to the property in Sonoma because of the reputation of the surrounding area that would eventually become the Moon Mountain District. The property had been a cattle ranch; it had no infrastructure. There was a dirt road with no easements. He drilled a well and ran everything on generators. It’s an engineering puzzle with a foundation in aesthetics.

From the time he started B. Wise Vineyards in 2002, his ambition was to make something he could hold up to the best wines he tasted during his travels. The vision is to make a wine of the world, and in his case, it became their flagship wine, BRION. B. Wise Vineyards is about the enjoyment of life. He and his wife Ronda make their own prosciutto; they brine olives; they grow and make wine. Best of all, they share all of this with their friends. Through everything they have done, there is this love of farming and a sense of the kind of perfection you can achieve through patience.

In 2002 B Wise began working with Massimo Monticelli, who joined them from Silver Oak, as the winemaker for the B. Wise Estate. Mark Herold brought them depth in their Napa Cabernet portfolio from his pioneering oenology work for Joseph Phelps and his own successful Merus Cabernet. Rounding out the Pinot Noir portfolio, they include an offering from the classic region for that grape, the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Drew Voit, former winemaker for Shea Vineyards in Oregon, joined them to work with Massimo on their Pinot Noirs.

Tasting notes: From distinguished vineyards in the Coombsville, Yountville, and Oakville districts. The opaque black-red hue reveals the concentration and depth of the wine. Dark fruits of blackberry and cassis with notes of spice, bay leaf, and dark chocolate emanate from the glass. The fruits are further enveloped by toasty oak tones with layers of violet, clove, and vanilla. In the mouth, layers of refined tannin give broad texture and extended length to the wine. The wine finishes with great energy and mineral tones. Drink 2019-2029.

2017 Ellman ‘Jemma’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

100% Cabernet Sauvignon  | 350 cases produced | $125/bottle

Vineyard: 79% Ellman Estate Vineyard, 21% Vine Hill Ranch

Winemaker: Andy Erickson | Resume – Screaming Eagle, Dalle Valle, Ovid, To Kalon, Favia.

Cellaring: Big wine, tons of fruit. Cellar for 8-12 years. TFWC Tasting Panel, April 2021

Owner’s Background: Neil Ellman is a third generation manufacturer, he continues to be the creative force behind his family business, overseeing sales and marketing. At one point, that business had him residing in California. It was during this time that Neil developed an affinity for Napa and a desire to be in the wine business. He considers himself fortunate to have been able to marry his passion for business and entrepreneurship with his love of great wine. Neil, his wife and two children currently reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Winemaker’s Notes: Andy brings to the winemaking at ELLMAN a shared value of family and friendship. His rich understanding of the Napa Valley and his thoughtful approach in the vineyard and cellar, give these wines and their estate the opportunity to grow into the multi-generational, family endeavor the Ellman’s dream of. Andy’s body of work as a winemaker is revered and stands alone in the Napa Valley. Check out this article for more info on Andy. https://www.winespectator.com/articles/a-live-chat-with-andy-erickson.

Tasting Notes: Named for Neil Ellman’s wife, 2017 marks the 11th year producing the Jemma Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wine. This vintage is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is sourced from the Ellman Estate Vineyard and Vine Hill Ranch.

With an intense ruby taste, the 2017 Jemma has expressive aromatics of elderberries, black currants and a myriad of bramble fruits, peppered with hints of graphite, caramel and thyme. On the palate, it has a lush fruit profile of blackberry compote, plum clafoutis and a basket full of Bing cherries. Muscular and weighty on the palate, the dark fruit character is precisely framed by focused tannins and an enduring, lengthy finish.  Aptly paired with a classic Beef Bourguignon or a simple dry-aged New York strip! 

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