Memento Mori’s mission is to produce the best Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. We source from only the best vineyards and have one of the most talented winemakers on the planet. Their goal with every vintages is to craft the best product possible without ever cutting corners.
They researched grape sources for Memento Mori over the course of three years. Knowing that land is the key to quality, they considered buying their own vineyard. Instead, they listened to the varied experiences of some of the best vineyard managers, farmers, and winemakers, and their path to creating a wine of unique and extraordinary caliber became clear: they would select and source from the best sites.
Memento Mori now sources from four of the absolute best vineyards in all of Napa Valley. All vetted over time, techinque and by other elite producers. In St. Helena, they chose two Beckstoffer Vineyards (Dr. Crane and Las Piedras). In Oakville, they selected the Weitz Vineyard and Oakville Ranch. Each stands on its own and has consistently been the source behind many legendary wines. They blend their unique characteristics–elegance, power, finish, and longevity–to create a perfectly balanced wine that seduces the palate year after year.
“The quality vintages continue following 2012 and 2013. The powerful 2014 welcomes you with voracious aromas of spice bread and meat followed by viscous drops of bright cherry compote. Fleshy tannins pierce through the gravity of the middle palate and the finish reveals the subtleties of sage and thyme that render this wine timeless. ”
– Sam Kaplan, Winemaker https://www.mmwine.com/
NICKEL & NICKEL
Nickel & Nickel is located in Oakville, Napa Valley, along Highway 29, on 42 acres that were originally settled as a farmstead in the 1880s. Their collection of classic barns along with the site’s original Queen Ann-style home brings the historic farmstead back to life. Housed within the genteel farmstead structures is an ultra-modern winery uniquely suited to producing single-vineyard wines.
Darice Spinelli joined the team at Nickel & Nickel as winemaker in 1998, the winery’s second vintage. She has been integral to the development of Nickel & Nickel’s winemaking program ever since. In crafting the Nickel & Nickel wines, she sees her role as one of providing harmony to the vineyard, doing everything possible to let the wines sing. It is Spinelli’s hope to capture and enhance the natural balance and quality that come from a great vineyard site.
Far Niente prospered until the onset of Prohibition in 1919, when it was abandoned and left to fall into disrepair. Sixty years later, in 1979, the winery underwent a three-year renovation of the property, which resulted in placement on the National Register of Historical Places. During restoration, the original name, Far Niente, from an Italian phrase that romantically translated means “without a care,” was found carved in stone on the front of the building where it remains to this day. They felt an obligation to preserve the name with the hope that we could recapture a bygone era when life was indeed without a care.
Nicole Marchesi honed her skills in Sonoma and New Zealand before coming to Far Niente as an enologist in 2005. She was soon promoted to assistant winemaker, and 4 years later became the fourth winemaker in Far Niente’s 30-year history. During her tenure, Marchesi has gained a deep understanding of their estate vineyards, working with the sites and individual blocks to bring forth the discrete character of each. Ultimately, Marchesi strives to create wines of elegance and depth that capture both place and vintage, while staying true to the Far Niente house style. http://farniente.com/
Pinot Noir has always been recognized as one of the noblest red wines, and also one of the most difficult varieties to produce. It has many faces and expressions, from light and fruity to dark and earthy. It is these nuances and qualities that excite us to continually pursue the “Holy Grail” of Pinot Noir. Sean Capiaux founded Capiaux Cellars in 1994, Capiaux Cellars is dedicated to producing single vineyard bottlings of Pinot Noir.
Capiaux Cellars is dedicated to producing single-vineyard bottlings of Pinot Noir, blending traditional Burgundian techniques with a modern flair of knowledge. The philosophy is to produce wines that express the unique terroir from which they came and to have the inherent flavors of the grape and land be the leading attributes rather than new oak, unnatural additives, and influences. When the grapes arrive at the winery they are sorted by hand to remove everything but sound ripe clusters. They are then destemmed and transferred into custom stainless steel tanks. Depending on the vintage and/or the vineyard, stems, whole clusters, or saignée may be employed.
The wine is allowed to soak until the natural fermentation begins, which is anywhere from four to ten days. In general, the common practice of additions of acid, nitrogen, nutrients, and, of course, yeast is avoided so as not to affect the natural flavors and tastes. Minimal amounts of new oak are used, usually 33% and on occasion up to 50% on certain vintages and vineyards, with the remaining oak being one to two years old. The wine is aged in barrel for 10 to 15 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. https://www.capiauxcellars.com
O’SHAUGHNESSY ESTATE WINERY
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery is a small, family-owned vineyard and winery on Howell Mountain in California’s Napa Valley. Their quest to make two great Cabernet Sauvignon wines, is the driving force behind all of their growing and winemaking decisions. Because they are committed to excellence and believe outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon is made in the vineyard, O’Shaughnessy spent nearly seven years finding the perfect piece of land. The 100-acre estate consists of 37 planted acres. These acres have provided the red, rocky, well-drained soils and south facing slopes where they grow the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and other Bordeaux blending varietals for our wine. The vineyard was planned, planted and farmed under the guidance of the winemaker, Sean Capiaux.
Betty O’Shaughnessy Woolls fell in love with the beauty of the land, the vineyards, and the climate of Napa Valley. In 1990, she landed in Oakville with a parcel of land, including vineyards and a home site. Over the next few years, additional vineyards on Howell Mountain and Mount Veeder added to the source available for varieties of grapes. Together with Paul Woolls, they now share a challenging goal of making the best possible wine from the exceptional vineyards they steward. Likewise, they are most fortunate to enjoy family life provided by numerous children (all girls) and even more grandchildren (mostly boys). Betty and Paul continue life’s joyous ride as companions, partners, and winemaking buddies in the O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery. https://www.oshaughnessywinery.com/
Daphne and Bart Araujo of Accendo Cellars have always maintained that their best wine has yet to be made.
This was their philosophy as the proprietors of Araujo Estate and stewards of the historic Eisele Vineyard, and it continues to be their guiding principle today with Accendo Cellars, the Napa Valley winegrowing venture they founded in 2013. Inspired by the revolutionary Napa Valley wines of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, Accendo pays homage to an earlier era and marks a beginning of a promising new paradigm: to source grapes from some of the finest vineyard sites and terroir in Napa Valley; to make a wine of balance and restraint in the style of Napa Valley’s past wines; and to produce this wine with the commitment, energy and meticulous attention to detail that have characterized their past efforts.
The Araujo’s daughter, Jaime Araujo Bézian, and son, Greg Araujo, have joined Accendo as well as a small team of professionals they have worked with for many years, people who share their passion and their values with the aim to create a world-class wine that expresses ecological diversity and focused stewardship. https://www.accendocellars.com
WHEELER FARMS WINERY
The Wheeler Farms estate property is located on 11.5 acres off of Zinfandel Lane just south of the city of St. Helena. For those curious about it’s history (and it is fascinating), the original stone winery was built in 1880 by Charles Wheeler and was conveniently located next to the train tracks about 1/2 mile to the west of Wheeler Farms Winery. The only visible remnant of this winery is an old stone wall – seen just east of the train tracks almost at the intersection of Highway 29 and Zinfandel Lane.
The property was purchased in 2014 by long time Napa vintners Bart and Daphne Araujo – who as their estate manager, Greg DeLeo states, “pivoted somewhat” after selling their iconic Araujo Estate and Eisele Vineyard. The previous owners, a Japanese firm had acquired the property in 2009 from the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Wheeler. Their intention was to build a winery on site but after the Tsunami hit in Japan in 2011 they decided against this and ultimately sold the land.
The winery is named in honor of the Wheeler family, whose property along Zinfandel Lane extended to the other side of Highway 29 and for decades was known as Wheeler Farms. By almost 1940 at the height of their land holdings the property encompassed some 400 acres with the current estate planted to prunes at that time. Charles Wheeler’s background was in grain and milling; he was part of the group that built the first grain elevator in California located in the city of Vallejo. But more significant to Napa’s history, Charles was a founding member of the St. Helena Viticultural Club in 1875 along with the president at that time, Charles Krug. This was the predecessor organization to the current St. Helena Viticultural Society.
The Araujo’s founded Araujo Estate (now the Eisele Vineyard) in 1990 and by the time they sold the winery and property in 2013 had built Araujo into one of the country’s most prized wine estates with wines highly coveted by serious collectors and other wine enthusiasts.
Not ones to rest, they immediately continued their focus on premium wines by founding Accendo Cellars – with the first vintage from 2013. http://www.napawineproject.com/wheeler-farms-winery/