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! 

Wine Country is open, are you ready?

Finally… and we mean finally. As a group that tends to spend most of the time behind a computer and connecting with family, friends, and peers in the wine industry, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other in person. Zoom, Facetime, Teams, whichever your vice for the next family social hour, logging in gets old quick. Thankfully, it looks like brighter skies are ahead and we will soon be able to get back how things were in 2019… maybe?

While preparing for our June shipment, we start by calling to check in with our winery partners and ask the simple question; what’s new? We hear a lot. Some want to chat. Others have an endearing glow in their voice with optimism, others are really chomping to get back to seeing guests and sharing stories over a bottle (or bottles) of wine. We can’t blame them. We are too.

Another round of phone calls we make throughout the week is with our hospitality partners. These are the smiling faces you’ll see when you visit the winery, hotel, restaurant and those who are picking you up before you embark on your daily excursion. These guys know their stuff and often send us recommendations of what wines we might want to feature in an upcoming shipment. You won’t believe how many texts we get throughout the season from a driver or hotel concierge who saying “have you tried this wine? You have to. Here’s the winemaker’s number.”

As you begin planning your next trip to wine country, give these guys a chance to show you around. They are great partners and always have the “next best” property to visit and really have the insider’s eye to wine country. They’ll offer you some suggestions, but the real art to their craft is they spend about 80% of their time listening to what you want to see and how you want your trip to go.

If we can suggest, here are a few of the companies we trust and have worked with for a decade while in other capacities in wine country.

Email john@topflightwineclub.com to start the conversation or connect with either company directly and mention Top Flight sent you.

Ride with Paul

Paul is an industry veteran who knows Napa and Sonoma from years of touring. One day he took the challenge and opened his own business, starting as a one man show. He’s done well and has one commitment to his guests and always wants to share a story or two. Book a Ride

Napa Valley Chauffeur

We go way back here… and Marcus and his family are building a small empire in Northern California. Marcus is the one stop shop for Wine Country. His fleet of vehicles range from couples to group tours. He also offers photography services for the Big Day or Proposals. Book a Ride

Wine Tasting Driver

Here is someone who took a great consumer first approach to wine tour driving. They offer designated driver services and professional drivers in a more casual setting. They offer all types of services, and do it extremely well. Book a Ride

RAM Wine Country Tours

Private Wine Tours and Transportation throughout Napa Valley, Sonoma and Healdsburg. Connect with Reggie and he will be sure to lure you in with witty charm and is always offering to play some golf. Book a Ride

March Featured Wines

Receive two bottles each of the following wines.  $590.00, free shipping

2016 J. Moss Proprietary Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

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

Vineyard: Steffensen Vineyard Coombsville and Mee Lane Vineyard Rutherford 

Winemaker:  James Moss | Resume Mondavi, Opus One, Jessup Cellars, J. Gregory

Cellaring: Decant, 9-12 years prime, ideal for extended aging 15+ – TFWC Tasting Panel, 2021

Owner’s Background: James Moss comes from Dallas, Texas where he first was introduced to fine wines working for a Texas distributor.  His work often brought him to the Napa Valley for further education.  That is when he began to fall in love with the industry and had the desire to produce his own fine wine that he could share with friends and family and eventually all wine lovers.  James decided to move to California in 1998 to follow this dream.

James’ career in winemaking began with helping out a friend at his small winery.  This is where he soon realized the complexity and commitment it took to produce an award winning wine and he has been committed to that goal ever since.  In addition to the day to day operations being the winemaker for J Moss, James hand selects the vineyards where the grapes are sourced, is the welcoming host at J Moss winery tastings and works out in the market hand selling J Moss wines to on and off premise customers in Northern California, Texas, Hawaii and beyond

Winemaking: This limited production 100% Cabernet Sauvignon comes from two special vineyards from the Rutherford and Coombsville appellations of Napa Valley.  The top two barrels were selected from each vineyard and married together to produce this amazing bottle of wine. This Cabernet Sauvignon is intense with dense dark rich concentrated bold black fruits including blackberries, dark cherry, plums with hints of double espresso.  It is rich and full bodied with medium tannins and an intense finish. 

We hand-harvested at dawn October 2016, at 25.4 Brix. Our grapes were picked cool at 47 F, destemmed, cold soaked 5 days to gently optimize extraction of tannins, color and fresh fruit, then fermented in small lot 3/4 ton fermenters. The grapes were punched down by hand two to three times a day until dry. The wine was pressed to barrels for malolactic fermentation, then racked into 100% French barrel for its planned Barrel aged 32 months, which will add complex flavors and lush aromatics. Each barrel was handracked four times and bottled with techniques that ensure maximum protection for aging cellar-worthy collector caliber wines. Limited allocated wine.

Tasting notes: This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon brings powerful, dense, rich Rutherford dust mixed with the deep dark color of Coombsville. The beautiful nose of crème de cassis takes you into complex spice notes with layers of bright, juicy dark fruits like black raspberries, white chocolate, licorice and violets. It’s rich and full bodied and polished with sweet tannins. It’s a classic balance and full structured wine with supple tannins. It will cellar gracefully 15-25 years and may be decanted for earlier gratification.        – 91 Points

2016 Sequum Kidd Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena Napa Valley

100% Cabernet Sauvignon | 200 cases produced | $75/bottle

Vineyard: Kidd Ranch Vineyard, St. Helena

Winemaker:  Paul Skinner, Ph.D in Soil Science UC Davis. Global vineyard consultant

Cellaring: 8-12 years ideal from vintage – TFWC Tasting Panel, 2021

Owner’s Background: Sequum is a soil science term that describes the relationship of a vertical sequence of soil layers. Sequum Wines are each made to showcase Paul Skinner’s, Ph.D., deep understanding of the relationship of soil and climate to grape growing. While Paul has a deep respect for old vines and traditions he also has pioneered the use of new techniques for monitoring and assessing vine, water and nutrient status and the implications and effects they have on premium quality grapes and wines.

Paul began making wine in 2003 because of his passion for wine and inspiration from his Kidd Ranch vineyard in St. Helena, Napa Valley. He combines the practical scientific approach with an artisan’s sensitivity. Sequum wines are made by utilizing the best that science has to offer with an artistic instinct.

Winemaker’s Notes: The vineyard is located on an ancient gravelly alluvial fan of Sulfur Creek that consists of Bale soil with Cortina gravelly mounds scattered throughout. A selection of Cabernet Sauvignon clones grafted to different rootstocks are matched to subtle changes in soil type. Hand farming of traditional Bordeaux-style meter by meter close spacing allows for balanced vine growth and the optimum light and temperature conditions around each ripening cluster. The wine was aged in a mixture of French Oak selected to highlight the complexity that develops in the vineyard. Our goal is to harvest our Cabernet Sauvignon fruit at its optimum quality and produce wines that reflect our small piece of Napa’s terroir.

Tasting notes: Classic aromas of coffee bean, blueberry, sweet red plum, black cherry, dried figs, and baking spices. Flavors of black cherry, black currant, and dark chocolate are followed by vanilla notes. In the mouth, luscious black fruits are wrapped in a smooth and silky texture, finishing with black currant and black cherry.

2017 Mirror Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville Napa Valley

100% Cabernet Sauvignon  | 364 cases produced | $95/bottle

Vineyard: Skellenger Vineyard, Oakville

Winemaker: Kirk Venge | Resume – B Cellars, Promise Wines, Summers Estate, Jax Vineyard, Venge Family Wines.

Cellaring: Decant upon opening, 7-12 years prime range from vintage – TFWC Tasting Panel, 2021

Owner’s Background: Rick Mirer is a former American football quarterback in the NFL after a successful collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame. Rick was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks with the second pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. He went on to play for the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions. It was during his time in the Bay Area from 2000 to 2003 that he fell in love with Napa Valley. After his retirement from football in 2004, Rick went out to find the best vineyards and winemaking team he could find to make his dream of starting Mirror Napa Valley a reality. He is now working with some of the most interesting sites in the valley, with some of the most talented people in the industry – Oscar Renteria and Kirk Venge.

Winemaker’s Notes: Hand harvested at peak ripeness of small concentrated clusters, from middle-aged vines rooted in the red dirt of clay loam soils on a gentle slope between the rising foothills and the valley floor. Traditional fermentation with 22 days on the skins, followed by native malolactic fermentation over the first 6 months, stirred in barrel, with a total of 29 months aging in 70% new French oak.

Tasting Notes: Dark fruit, brooding with black olive, toasted oak, and black licorice. A touch of violet opens to an energetic lift on the mid palate – stewed cherries and roasted capsicum – with tapering tannins and great acid structure. A meal eater’s wine, sure to pair perfectly with almost any braised short rib or grilled tri-tip that’s worth setting a fine table and inviting friends.

Why Start a Wine Club?

Simply, the consumers, and some of my closest friends, asked me to. With years of experience, there was a need that had to be met. One thing consistent with any current online subscription, you have fatigue set in quickly. We as consumers spend hours researching, gathering more data and experiencing new things.

Then, FOMO sets in. So you get another. Then another. And then another. Then, you look at your wallet, or your cellar, and find that you have too much of one thing and need to scale back. Myself included.

Top Flight Wine Club comes in to solve that issue for most consumers. My mission in creating this, and after years of hearing the same reason for cancelling a subscription, is to provide an exploration of a region before committing to one single subscription. My hope for you (and our winery partners) is that you love one wine and winery more than another, are inspired to visit them on site, and then end up joining their wine club as well. For me, that’s the goal. It isn’t to compete in the space, but it’s to enhance it. For consumers to discover it.

That said, I hope you enjoy this new adventure.


Ultra-Premium, Boutique Wines from Napa and Sonoma’s Highest Rated Producers.
As the summer sun casts its warm glow, there's no better time …
Discover the Finest California Wines for a Luxurious Summer
As the sun-drenched days of summer beckon, it's time to indulge in …
Flight Club – New Wines for the Spring
As the snow melts away and the flowers begin to bloom, wine …
Elite Membership, New Wines for the Spring
As the snow melts away and the flowers begin to bloom, wine …