Our selection is the work of Derek Benham who grew up in the wine business learning from his parents. All of his siblings have been incredibly successful as well. Obviously, their parents taught them well. Derek is an avid surfer, ergo the name refers to a surfing condition when waves approaching the shore split, creating different wave peaks.
Derek was born in Bakersfield and earned a job harvesting grapes just out of high school. He went on to graduate from Berkeley and headed straight for the wine business moving up to managing a winery, which lead him to start his own. Winemaker, Joel Aiken, also grew up in an agricultural community and also became interested in vineyards at a very early age. Benham and Aiken are on the same page in terms of what they're after, which makes as good a partnership, especially in wine, as it gets.
The grapes were harvested in the early morning when they are the coolest. They spent four days fermenting at very cold temperatures to bring out maximum flavor. After fermentation the wine spent 18 months in French oak barrels 50% of which was new. This careful and expensive process is what gives us this tremendous selection today. The color is almost opaque, signaling a wine of size and stature. No disappointment here as the color leads to the powerful scents of black cherry, dark chocolate, and vanilla. The flavor follows suit adding long, lingering tannins which beg for rack of lamb with a mint pesto or a slow roasted fillet.