December Flight Club 3 Bottles of Wine | 3 Red Wines | One Bottle of Each
December Elite Club 6 Bottles of Wine | 6 Red Wines | Two Bottles of Each
2016 Talisman Wines Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, Sonoma County
Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Winery Price: $70
Winemaker pedigree Mary Edwards, Calera, MacRostie
Talisman is focused completely (obsessed?) on Pinot Noir; very small lots of single vineyard Pinot Noirs. Lovingly crafted expressions of different vineyards mostly in Sonoma County; one in Napa County and one in Mendocino county. They partner with their growers, a much more personal relationship than just “buying grapes”. They have specific blocks (or rows) that they source from, work together on, make farming and picking decisions together, and craft exquisite wines from their grapes.
They vinify and age their Pinots virtually identically to showcase the vineyard site; elevation, soil type, age of vines, weather that year, etc. It’s a fascinating comparison of Pinot personalities. They also craft their Pinots to age; 25-30% whole cluster, native (ambient, feral) yeast, a 10 days to 2 weeks post-fermentation maceration, barrel aging of 18-22 months in about half new French oak (5 different coopers for added layers of complexity), and a good 1-2 years in bottle; the wines benefit greatly from time in the bottle.
They strive for balance; tannin, structure, acid, body, flesh, aromatics, finish…. The wine has to have enough “stuffing” to stand up to the levels of tannin and barrel age they give them.
Needless to say… this winery is obsessed with Pinot Noir and we actually took the entire lot so that way we could exclusively offer this wine to our membership.
2017 Rudius Kaley Elizabeth Oakville Napa Valley
Winery Price: $135
Winemaker Jeff Ames
96+ Points – Wine Advocate
Winemaker is Jeff Ames (he’s worked with Lynn Penner-Ash and Thomas Rivers Brown and currently is the winemaker for Tor). This is his personal label… Kaley Elizabeth is named for his daughter
Rudius is the name of the wooden sword that was presented to a gladiator when he was freed by the emperor of Rome. It symbolized the gladiator was done fighting and now a free man.
Perched just above Silverado Trail in Oakville’s sun-soaked eastern hills, the vineyard that produces our Kaley Elizabeth Cabernet is truly one of a kind. Planted in 1988 on terraces cut into the brick-red clay soils indicative of this sub-appellation, the vines here have been painstakingly maintained over the last nearly three decades.
Few Cabernet vineyards in the Napa Valley have such an abiding sense of history and commitment to quality. Clone 7 — a favorite of farmers in the 80s and 90s — delivers consistently rich, bold fruit from year-to-year, while the incredibly well-drained, fractured soil of the terraces adds just the right amount of stress over the growing season. The result: a wine that is both plush and complex, every bit a modern Napa Cabernet, with bold dark elements that harken back to the days of old California.
2018 Majuscule Cabernet Sauvignon Mt Veeder, Napa Valley
250 Cases Produced
Winery Price: $80
Tasting Notes: The lively and intense nose leads with a hint of fresh violets and dark fruits. On the palate, flavors of bright red cherries, blackberries and black currant are highlighted with subtle cranberry. With a full-bodied mouthfeel and moderate tannins, the flavors progressively include a subtle spice component with dark chocolate, pepper, licorice, and cedar.
Sourced from two steep blocks in the Wildcat Vineyard on Mount Veeder, our flagship Cabernet Sauvignon has a lively and intense nose, leading in with a hint of fresh violets and dark fruits. On the palate, flavors of bright red cherries, blackberries and black currant highlight, with subtle flavor of cranberry. With a full-bodied mouthfeel and moderate tannins, the flavors progressively include a subtle spice component with dark chocolate, pepper, licorice, and cedar. This wine has structured tannins and will age well over the next 15 years.
Big, small. Bold, timid. There really is no counterpart to the word minuscule in English. In French the opposite is majuscule, literally meaning a capital letter.
The juxtaposition of big and small embodies our wine making philosophy. They craft big yet elegant and balanced wines from exceptional single vineyards in the Napa Valley.
Majuscule is a small, family owned and run winery that specializes in Cab Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their award-winning wines are produced in very small lots – typically less than 100 cases per wine – with an intense focus on quality.
Working with our friend Lisa Chu, a longtime grower on Mount Veeder, they made two barrels of the first Majuscule wines in 2009 as a side project from the same vineyard they source grapes from today. It was a fun endeavor, and they enjoyed sharing the wines with friends. And the seed was planted for what was to come a few years later.
In 2018 Majuscule became an official winery. We’re still rooted to Lisa’s Wildcat Vineyard on the steep slopes 1,800 feet above the western side of the Napa Valley. The vineyard is stunning and has several microclimates and grape clones. It’s challenging to farm, but the extra effort yields incredible results in the bottle.
Learn more about these wines on our website.