We don't normally see wines of this caliber in the Vintner's Series, so when we tasted it, we jumped at the chance. Needless to say, the value here is extraordinary. The grapes hail from the Rockpile vineyard where many of the vines are 70 years old. That alone accounts for the amazing core of this wine.
Walter and Marjorie Byck purchased the property in 1977. Its view of the Russian River Valley was, and still is, nothing short of majestic. Their passion for art at first turned the property into a curated sculpture grove, serving as a gathering space for their community. It was their interest in wine that caused them to found the winery in 1991.
Winemaker, Dan Barwick, has been crafting legendary wines for 20 years gaining an intimate understanding of this appellation and allowing the wines to truly showcase the flavors of the vineyard. The grapes are harvested over a three week period, assuring that only the most perfect are used. They are then hand-sorted, discarding any over or under ripe ones. The wine is then aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 40% of which are new. This treatment alone costs a fortune. But, we're not arguing. The results are nothing less than spectacular. The plethora of scents and flavors swirl in the nose and on the palate with black currant, cherry, vanilla, tobacco and spice. Matching with a prime grade rib eye grilled to medium rare and served with potatoes and haricot vert would be nothing short of an elixir.