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The 2018 Herson Family Vineyards Access Merlot is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga. It’s aged 18 months in French Oak barrels, 30% new oak. It has a dense purple color and reveals notes of cocoa, chocolate, Asian plum sauce and black cherries. It is a sensual, layered and full-bodied wine that is balanced, complex, distinctive, and connected to its Napa Valley terroir. The wine will age well for a decade or more. No technological gimmicks were used making this wine. It was crafted by one of Napa Valley’s iconic winemakers who puts his trust in his instinct and palate when crafting wines that are among Napa Valley’s finest.
By popular demand, this 2016 Audēre Red Blend (42% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot, 9% Cabernet Franc, & 1% Malbec) best-seller is topping the charts with an increased total production of 239 cases . In typical bold fashion, it comes out guns blazing with lots of extract, some serious tannin, and a full-bodied mouthfeel. It is an exuberant, rich wine with red cherries, oodles of black fruits, and coffee notes. Very reminiscent of the inaugural 2013 Audēre, this is sure to please even the biggest Sideways-Loving, Merlot-Hater...and yes, the rumors are true…. this label glows-in-the dark! Turn off the lights and see for yourself.
2016 was an extraordinarily epic vintage. It was the fifth consecutive outstanding vintage, and at the time of harvest, we thought it was the best of the decade. All of our fruit slowly matured and ripened, containing the proper phenolics that we strive to have every vintage. We had a decent winter, which meant that we had more irrigation water and more control of hang-time on the vines. With more hang time came more complexity and character, creating more balance in the vineyards. With a total production of 562 cases of the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, this elegant powerhouse all hails from highly-esteemed, volcanic Napa areas such as the Pritchard Hill area, Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak, and our very own Rockwell Ridge estate vineyard (35 feet below Howell Mountain). We’re honored that this wine recently won GOLD at Texsom (back-to-back years!), arguably the most prestigious wine competition in the country featuring 19 Master Sommeliers and 16 Masters of Wine on their judging panel.
With a total production of only 228 cases, the 2016 Russian River Valley (Old Wente clone) Chardonnay comes off with another hedonistic style, with big boldness, and Cabernet-lover’s delight. Similar to previous vintages, it is still unfined, unfiltered, and using native yeast, but the difference is that in this vintage, Ralph Hertelendy brought Phillip Corallo-Titus (winemaker at Chappellet and Titus) into the Chardonnay program (you’ll notice that both Phillip’s and Ralph’s signatures are now on the back label). Phillip brought that modern Napa style into this process and introduced a brighter acidity and different style of complexity than Ralph had in year’s past.
The elegant 2016 Signature Mountain Blend hails from highly-esteemed volcanic Napa areas such as Pritchard Hill, Howell Mountain, Atlas Peak. It’s the closest wine in the Hertelendy program that could be called an “Estate wine” with most of the blend coming from Rockwell Ridge Estate vineyard located 35 feet below the Howell Mountain AVA. Dubbed by many over the years as “The Petrus of Napa Valley”, this wine recently won GOLD AT TEXSOM for the first time — arguably the most prestigious wine competition in the country featuring 19 Master Sommeliers and 16 Masters of Wine on their judging panel.
The 2018 Sumo is a show-stopper. Aromas of ink, mixed berry cobbler, resin, lilies, carob, asphalt, boysenberry, blueberry, black peppercorn. The ultra silky, mouth-filling palate is broad and plush, with sweet blue and black fruit, savory black peppercorn, flowers, tar, and graphite persisting through the very end of the super-long finish.
This Rose' is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon from our vineyard on Howell Mountain and 2% Refosco. This blend is a creation of flavors of pomegranate, strawberry and cranberry. The fully bodied Rose' has a great finish with bright acidity and a hint of tannins.
The 2014 Le Barrettage is deep dark blackberry in color. Enticing aromas rise from the glass in this appropriately aged offering: plum and cherry-like fruit with nuances of white pepper, green tea, cardamom spice, and sweet toasty French oak. It’s delicious and mouth-coating across the palate, ripe and concentrated, with silky smooth balance and refined pure flavors. The dense texture of the wine enhances the long lingering flavors and mirror the aromas. A blend of two different Syrah blocks, Grenache for liveliness, and a tiny slash of Petite Sirah for added power; it will pair beautifully with a huge array of cuisine. This delicious proprietary “Rhone style” blend from La Sirena was given additional time in bottle before release because honestly, it just keeps getting better!
This gorgeous 2015 Cab is dense and concentrated, starting with very dark ruby color in the glass. Aromas are Napa Valley at its best - layers of ripe berries, cherries, red currants, and toasty refined French oak accents. Open and expressive, with velvety and explosive flavors across the palate. Blackberry-like ripe Cab flavors with amazing silky textural tannins and a persistent long finish. Power packed concentration from this low production vintage. Already delicious upon release, and will surely be an appealing wine for collectors - its powerful structure and rich flavors ensure this wine will be a favorite for years to come.
Baking spice, marmalade and rich cherry pie layer the mouthfeel. Ripe fig, tobacco leaf, and a slightly smoked meat quality in the finish. Round and supple with velvety tannins. Good structure should reward aging over the next decade.
The 500 Chevaux is a classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: muscular, naturally more tannic and built to age yet with a plush and polished mouthfeel and lingering finish.
This voluptuous and concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon shows rich aromas of blackberry and creme de cassis that evolve into notes of violet and and wild berry liqueur. Hints of espresso and dark chocolate with soft, savory notes of cigar box unfold in the background. The wine is opulent, with firm structure and radiant tannins.
The 2017 “Improvisation” displays an entirely opaque, dark purple-black core with hints of magenta on the rim. The nose is enticing and powerful, showing off intoxicating liqueur notes of créme de cassis and kirsch, alongside ripe black cherry, blackberries, fresh-picked violets, cacao, baking spices, vanilla and coffee bean, tobacco leaf, and crushed stones. The palate is full-bodied and mouth-coating with immense layers of dark fruit that are unabashedly rich and ripe. All this, however, is proportionately balanced by waves of persisting freshness and a touch of acidity that keeps it from entering a sappy / cloying territory that many “Cult Cabs” can’t seem to shake. This forward style wine will drink at its finest over the next 5-7 years with proper storage, but it is delicious right now and needs no further aging to enjoy.