Summer is already upon us! We are excited to announce the Summer 2021 Wine Club shipment. It will be coming just before the start of the 2021 Harvest, as we usually start harvesting the white grapes in August.
Here in Napa Valley, we are on the brink of having herd immunity and are fully opening up life again. Napa Valley hasn't been a bad place to be stranded but we all look forward to getting out. We are also looking forward to welcoming back all of our visitors to the Valley.
"What do the grapes look like?" is always a big question this time of the year. A year ago it looked like the beginning of a perfect vintage. Of course, it didn't work out that way as we were hit with late summer fires that caused the largest disruption of any harvest in the history of Napa. Total volume was off by 40% with grape prices dropping for the vintage. A lot of grapes were left unpicked because of both potential or actual smoke taint.
White grapes, where the juice was pressed off the skins, came through outstanding and balanced for the most part. The red grapes were another story, inconsistent depending on where exactly they were grown in Napa. The southern part of Pope Valley seemed to come through it all very well as it was mostly protected by favorable winds and the mountains around Lake Hennessey and Howell Mountain. This is and has been a key source of grapes for me since the ’90s. But we had to reject Cabernet, Merlot, and Petite Verdot from other areas. For now, we will hope a relatively dry winter won't see us return to the problems of 2020.
As for this club shipment, we are doing the two MC Signature classics: the new 2016 MC Signature Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2017 MC Signature Chardonnay. These are being released at just the perfect time. Both are intensely focused and well-balanced.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is from a virtually perfect vintage. This is not one to miss and considering the Club price, compare it to any other red in the 3-digit dollar range.
The 2017 Chardonnay from the Oak Knoll District is much like a red wine. Aged for 15+ months in specially made French oak barrels exclusively designed for me and the wines I make, it’s close to Meursault from Burgundy. I call this a Red Wine drinkers’ white wine. It’s a Chardonnay not to be afraid of, one you do not want to miss that will age and develop for at least a decade.
The Red Wine Club option will include the last shot at a club favorite, the 2013 Cabernet Franc Merlot is being included at a special Club-only price. This is the last CFM for a while as the next vintage release has not yet been determined.
I know you will enjoy this selection.
As Featured in Napa Wine Taste - August 23, 2019
Mitch Cosentino is well known for creating Cosentino Winery some 40 years ago.
While Vintage Wine Estates acquired that business in 2011, today Cosentino works as founder-winemaker of pureCru Winery and winemaking consultant for J. McClelland Cellars and O’Connell Family Wines.
Cosentino said he likes the challenge of making wine – and on his terms.
“I don’t compromise,” he said. “I won’t work for somebody that wants to compromise. I do that because I can.”
1. This will be your 40th harvest. To what do you attribute your longevity in the industry?
Determination. I want to continually try and make the ultimate wine.
2. What is the ultimate wine?
Where everything is perfect. Perfect balance, character, depth, varietal content. True to what it is. It should be able to be enjoyed by a very wide range of people. Classic and not (like) a lot of the stuff we see today that’s been manipulated. There’s no laboratory in what I do. For me, it’s an artistic endeavor.
3. What is the biggest challenge the wine industry has faced?
Some distributors and the three-tier system.
4. Who do you most admire in the business world?
In the wine business: John Parducci and Robert Mondavi.
5. If you could change one thing about the wine industry, what would it be?
To differentiate wines made in the lab from real wines and give them another identity.
6. What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I am very competitive, yet very sociable and approachable, and oh, I am not afraid to have opinions.
7. What was your childhood ambition?
To be active in sports. I played all sports (growing up). I was best at football but at 5’ 7” and 142 lbs. today, I was wise enough to not take that long term.
8. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
Shoot a score equal or lower than my age in golf.
9. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
Napa Valley of course, I am where I want to be. Although playing golf at Augusta National would be good today.
10. What’s your favorite California golf course?
Spyglass Hill and/or Cypress Point. Those are my two favorites.
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