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Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley Vintner Partner Dinner Series | Blackbird Vineyards

July 24, 2014

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Join Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley and Blackbird Vineyards for an enchanting, evening wine and dining experience this Saturday on July 26th.  Hosted by Blackbird Vineyards Principals, the experience will offer the unique opportunity to savor a hand-selected flight of Blackbird wines, perfectly paired with delectable cuisine in Ma(i)sonry’s outdoor sculpture garden or upstairs art gallery, prepared by Winery Chef Richard Haake. Take advantage of the opportunity to mingle with modern legends of California wine country and acquire dinner wines, along with library and pre-release vintages.

The Blackbird Vineyards dinner is the fourth of Ma(i)sonry’s Vintner Partner Dinner Series and will take place this Saturday.

 

Get to know winemaker, Aaron Pott…

 

Describe Blackbird Vineyards using 3 words.

First Class Flight.

 

What is your most marked characteristic?

My biting sarcasm.

 

How do you want Blackbird Vineyards to be remembered?

With the same reverence as Proust’s madeleine.

 

What is your motto?

Qui bene amat bene castigat.

 

What is your favorite wine you’ve made and why?

It depends on my mood and what I am cooking.

 

What wine do you love introducing to people?

Any great Riesling.

 

What is the strangest wine descriptor you have ever heard?

ça sent la petite fille négligée.

 

If you only had one last sip of wine, what would you choose?

1949 J.J. Prum BA.

 

What wine region would you like to visit next?

Central Otago, NZ.

 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Chateau Ausone.

 

Learn more about Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley’s Vintner Partner Dinner Series and other events.

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Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley Vintner Partner Dinner Series | Pahlmeyer

July 15, 2014

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Join Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley and Pahlmeyer Wines for an enchanting, evening wine and dining experience on July 19th.  Hosted by Pahlmeyer Wines winemaker, Kale Anderson, the experience will offer the unique opportunity to savor a hand-selected flight of Pahlmeyer Wines, perfectly paired with delectable cuisine in Ma(i)sonry’s outdoor sculpture garden or upstairs art gallery, prepared by Winery Chef Richard Haake. Take advantage of the opportunity to mingle with modern legends of California wine country and acquire dinner wines, along with library and pre-release vintages.

The Pahlmeyer dinner is the third of Ma(i)sonry’s Vintner Partner Dinner Series and will take place this Saturday.

Get to know winemaker and host of the Pahlmeyer dinner, Kale Anderson…

 

Describe Pahlmeyer wines in three words:

“Industrial Strength Baby”

“Delicious Now & Later”

“No Partial Bottles”

 

What is your most marked characteristic?

My most marked physical characteristic is a tattoo of a grapevine and kale on my arm.

I also look too young to be making Pahlmeyer wines.

My most over-developed mental characteristics are curiosity and listening skills.

 

How do you want Pahlmeyer Wines to be remembered?

I hope that people always believe that Pahlmeyer wines over-deliver on expectation.

 

What is your motto?

My personal mantra is:  Patience.

 

What is your favorite wine you’ve made and why?

My favorite wine to make is the current vintage.  It’s a chance to start with a blank slate every year, a chance to make history.

 

What wine do you love introducing to people?

I love introducing the new Pahlmeyer and Jayson wines we’ve made since I started at Pahlmeyer in 2012.

 

If you only had one last sip of wine, what would you choose?

One last sip of the wine crafted by my grandkids, maybe great grandkids.

 

What is your favorite wine memory?

Champagne at my first son’s birth.  Don’t even remember the bottle.

 

What wines are on your kitchen counter?

There are partial 375 mLs from the 2013 Cabernet blending session.

 

What is your most memorable food and wine pairing?

French Laundry with the sommelier doing quiz pairings.  I got 9/10.

 

Learn more about Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley’s Vintner Partner Dinner Series and other events.

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Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley Vintner Partner Dinner Series | Husic

July 9, 2014

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Join Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley and Husic Vineyards for an enchanting wine and dining experience on July 12th.  Hosted by Proprietors of Husic Vineyards, Frank and Julie Husic, the experience will offer the unique opportunity to savor a hand-selected flight of Husic wines, perfectly paired with delectable cuisine in Ma(i)sonry’s outdoor sculpture garden or upstairs art gallery, prepared by Winery Chef Richard Haake. Take advantage of the opportunity to mingle with modern legends of California wine country and acquire dinner wines, along with library and pre-release vintages.

The Husic Vineyards dinner is the second of Ma(i)sonry’s Vintner Partner Dinner Series and will take place this Saturday.

Get to know Husic Vineyards with a few fun facts…

1)  The Husic estate vineyards spread from the valley floor to approximately 900 feet up the hillside above Stag’s Leap District.

2) Husic Vineyards, planted in 1997 overlooking the Stags Leap District, were the last hillside vineyards planted in Napa before the anti-hillside planting ordinance was passed.

3)  After graduating with a degree in Philosophy, Winemaker Michael Hirby worked as a sommelier for a few years before deciding that winemaking was the next step; and after spending a few months exploring the wine regions of Spain and France, he made his way to Napa Valley.

4)  Michael Hirby grew up in a musical and creative family that had a deep love of food and cooking.

 Learn more about Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley’s Vintner Partner Dinner Series and other events.

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Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley Vintner Partner Dinner Series | Captûre

June 25, 2014

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Join Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley and Captûre Wines for an enchanting, evening wine and dining experience on June 28th.  Hosted by Vice President of Captûre  Wine, Andre Boada, the experience will offer the unique opportunity to savor a hand-selected flight of Captûre Wines, perfectly paired with delectable cuisine in Ma(i)sonry’s outdoor sculpture garden or upstairs art gallery, prepared by Winery Chef Richard Haake. Take advantage of the opportunity to mingle with modern legends of California wine country and acquire dinner wines, along with library and pre-release vintages.

The Captûre dinner is the first of Ma(i)sonry’s Vintner Partner Dinner Series and will take place this Saturday.

Get to know proprietor and host of the Captûre dinner, Andre Boada…

  1. What is the story behind the name of Captûre Wines?

Winemaker, Denis Malbec, formally of Chateau Latour mentioned the word Captûre several times during his visits to Tin Cross Vineyard, home of the Captûre estate. His quote, “This vineyard captures the essence of Bordeaux character”.

 

2. What is your most marked characteristic?

The new AVA, Pine Mountain – Cloverdale Peak. This AVA offers a longer growing season, but with less heat than the valley floor. The result, full flavored Bordeaux wines without high alcohol.

 

3. How do you want Captûre Wines to be remembered?

Balanced and elegant in style. Well respected by top sommeliers and wine writers. Small production (less than 3,000 cases a year) and artisan winemaking.

 

4. What is your motto?

Bordeaux Tradition, Frontier Spirit.

 

5. What is your favorite wine you have made and why?

Our Flagship wine is “Tradition” Sauvignon Blanc, which made us famous. Our highest rated wine though is “Revelation” Cabernet Sauvignon, 96 points from Robert Parker. This wine is quickly gaining cult wine status. We will feature two vintages at the vintner dinner: 2009 (95 points) and 2010 (96 points).

 

6. What wine do you love introducing to people?

2010 “Alliance” Red Bordeaux Blend. The baby brother to our single vineyard Cabernet, “Revelation”. Amazing balance with layers of complexity.

 

7. Describe Captûre Wines in three words.

Mountain – Artisan – Elegant

 

8. What is your favorite wine region?

I adore the multi-regions of The Mayacama Mountain range, the range that divides Napa from Sonoma. Since we are the newest AVA of that range (Pine Mountain) I explore other regions to conduct comparative insights.

 

9. What is your favorite wine memory?

Exploring the vast wine caves of Champagne and gaining respect for history of that region.

 

10. What is your most memorable food and wine pairing?

I really enjoy challenging the food and wine pairings of our red Bordeaux blends. They are exceptional food wines due to the low alcohol and bright flavors. One of note was soy marinated escolar (a fish with oily complexity) layered over smoked eggplant puree, paired with “Alliance” Red Bordeaux Blend.

 

Acquire your tickets to the Captûre dinner here.

Learn more about Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley’s Vintner Partner Dinner Series and other events.

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Wines on Tap | Thinking Outside The Bottle…

March 18, 2014

Kegs = Beer, right?  Not anymore!  Kegged wine is an up-and-coming trend throughout the United States that is making some big waves in both the beverage and eco-friendly domains.

Kegged wine itself is not a new concept (it has a long history in Europe), but it made its United States debut in chic, big-city restaurants throughout Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, and is now trickling down to smaller restaurants and wine bars who want in on this “green” alternative.

And green it is…

Think about this:  One keg of wine holds the equivalent of 26 bottles.  A single, 750ml bottle of wine requires several resources in wine bottlespackaging and transportation (glass, cork, foil, paper labels and the cases and pallets it is stored in).  Kegs, by contrast, don’t require much packaging and can be recycled and reused for 20 years or more.  According to Food & Wine magazine, “By-the-glass orders account for as much as 80 percent of the wine sold in restaurants, upward of 600 million bottles a year. If just five percent of by-the-glass wines came from a keg, it would keep over 30 million bottles out of landfills.”

Besides the obvious eco-assets of kegged wines, benefits to businesses are great as well!  Kegs provide up to 65 days of fresh wine.  When compared to the two-three day shelf life of an opened bottle of wine, wine on tap is an appealing option to restaurants open to an avant-garde twist on wine service.  Even locations throughout Napa Valley are starting to tap into the potential of reducing bottled wine options.  Farmstead, Fish Story, Hurley’s, Kitchen Door, R+D Kitchen and the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena are just a few which have gotten on board with wines on tap.

So how does wine poured from a keg taste? Possibly better than from the bottle.  Once the cork is removed, air flows into the wine bottle and oxidation begins. Even with the best preservation systems in play, bottles of wine don’t always stay perfectly fresh. A lot of wine is thrown away, or served in poor condition that lessens the experience for consumers (resulting in waste for the restaurant in more ways than one).  The alternative, wine on tap, is a win-win. Consumers enjoy vibrant wine with no chance of oxidation, while restaurant costs are reduced by the reduced number of returned bottles.

Bespoke Collection has proudly tapped into the wine-keg movement by offering Blackbird Vineyards Arriviste Rosé, Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley Hudson Vineyard Sans Chêne Sauvignon BlancRecuerdo Wines Torrontés and Recuerdo Wines Malbec in 20L, recyclable keg formats.

Besides being offered at fine restaurants and smart wine bars throughout the country, a rotating selection of Bespoke Collection’s kegged-wines will be offered to guests of Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley , where all Bespoke Collection wines are offered for sampling and purchase.

Bespoke Collection invites you to “think outside the bottle” and experience a glass of wine-on-tap!

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Read Bespoke Collection’s Keg Wine Press Release | Acquire Wines from Bespoke Collection

Email National Sales Director Eric Sothern for wholesale keg information

Blazing the Napa Valley Vine Trail…

March 6, 2014

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Blackbird Vineyards is pleased to share the exciting news that has Napa locals and fans buzzing with excitement!  The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) and Visit Napa Valley (VNV) organizations have recently announced a generous $5 million contribution to help construct Napa’s next great amenity – the Napa Valley Vine Trail.

In conjunction with the Vine Trail Coalition, both NVV and VNV are contributing to the funding and fund-raising efforts to vt mapcomplete construction on the 47-mile walking and cycling trail that will extend from the Vallejo Ferry Terminal to Calistoga.

Besides the obvious recreational benefits that the trail will provide, one of the main goals of the safe and sustainable trail is to provide wonderful health benefits – To encourage people to get outdoors, move and improve their health and their lives.

collageCurrently, ten miles (or 20 percent) of the trail has been built.  The continuing 12.5 miles from Kennedy Park to Yountville is schedule to be completed by the end of 2014, connecting 60 percent of Napa County’s population to the trail.  When complete, the vine trail will pass within one mile of 30 schools. NVV’s funds will be used for the section of the trail from American Canyon to Yountville, which will provide the greatest benefit to the majority of Napa Valley’s children who can ride their bikes or walk to and from school.

The total cost of the Vine Trail is estimated to be $50 million.  A portion of Napa Valley Vintner’s generous donation comes directly from money raised at Auction Napa Valley.  2014 will mark the eighth year that Blackbird Vineyards has participated in Auction Napa Valley, where the company has raised over $2 million for NVV’s  community health and youth education-focused charitable giving.  The Vine Trail’s goal to provide a healthy and family-friendly hiking and biking trail for Napa County locals and visitors falls right in line with NVV’s giving goals.

Blackbird Vineyards is looking forward to the expansion of the Vine Trail and participating in 2014 Auction Napa Valley to continue in the goal of giving back!

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Donate to the Napa Valley Vine Trail | Buy, Buy Blackbird

Blackbird’s 10th Anniversary Cuvée at Premiere Napa Valley

January 31, 2014

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Napa Valley is buzzing with anticipation as preparations are underway for the 17th annual Premiere Napa Valley wine auction.

Produced in California’s renowned Napa Valley, “Premiere Napa Valley” is one of the rarest wine brands in the world.

In honor of their 10th Anniversary, Blackbird Vineyards will produce ten cases of Premiere Napa Valley Cuvée, instead of its normal five-case lot. The ten cases, hand-crafted by Winemaker Aaron Pott, come from a single barrel composition of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and will be the first wine obtainable from Blackbird’s 10th anniversary harvest.

Grapes for Blackbird’s 10th Anniversary Cuvée are sourced from prominent vineyard sites on the benches and mountains of Napa Valley, where the best quality grapes are derived from. Because of the ideal conditions of the 2012 growing season, this wine can be enjoyed now or cellared for upwards of 15 years.

About Premiere Napa Valley:

Premiere Napa Valley provides the ideal environment for Napa Valley to highlight what makes it a world-renowned wine region: a tradition of cultivating excellence, innovation, quality and leadership. Attending the event is a great opportunity to connect with the winemakers of Napa Valley and to bring customers quite a unique offering.

Throughout the years, the region’s top winemakers have offered innovative and ultra-boutique wines to the trade, crafted in as few as 60 bottles, never more than 240, as individual bottlings for this world-renowned wine event.

Premiere wine offerings come from more than 200 wineries and winemakers, created only once, ensuring that each wine is truly one-of-a-kind.

Wine Guide | What to Serve With Your Thanksgiving Feast

November 19, 2013

 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  This special holiday is wonderful for reflection, spending time with friends and family, watching too much football and preparing sumptuous feasts – all in the spirit of gratefulness.

We all know the standard Thanksgiving staples: Turkey, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce…

But what about the perfect wine pairings that make your spread a stand-out feast?  Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley is proud to represent 20+ esteemed vintner partners, all with a wonderful selection of wines for your table.  Check out our recommended pairings for the Thanksgiving  holiday…

2010 Blackbird Vineyards Illustration with baked turkey
This elegant blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon is soft enough to pair with poultry and rich enough to complement seasonings and spice…

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2012 Recuerdo Wines Torrontés with traditional stuffing
Crisp and fragrant, this Torrontés is sure to bring out the fresh, herbal flavors of your favorite Thanksgiving stuffing…

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2012 Hirsch San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir with sweet potatoes
With supple aromas of fig, orange blossom and bergamot, this wine pairing will capture the imagination…

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2011 TOR Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with homemade cranberry sauce
An explosion of black fruits in this wonderfully robust wine perfectly pairs with the dense flavors of home-cooked cranberry sauce…

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2011 Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley Stagecoach Vineyard Marsanne with mashed potatoes
This Rhône Valley inspired white quaff, with cascading flavors of melon and citrus,
is a unique option to pair with such a traditional side dish…

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2010 Tuck Beckstoffer Semper “Ulises” Chardonnay with apple pie
Perfection. This Chardonnay, with nuanced flavors of lemon oil and buttered brioche,
might make dessert the favorite course this Thanksgiving…

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All wines from Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley can arrive in time for Thanksgiving using two-day shipping by November 22, 2013.

For questions about orders, contact Ma(i)sonry’s Private Client Services representative, David, at 707.603.8771 or via email at David.Greve@bespokecollection.com.

From Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley and Bespoke Collection, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!

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Vintner Spotlight: Casa Piena Vineyards

October 22, 2013

Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley showcases a rotating collection of wines from vintner collective partners. Each month we spotlight one to get to know them a little better.  We are featuring Mr. Carmen Policy of Casa Piena, who has given exclusive release rights to Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley for his 2009 “Our Gang” Cabernet Sauvignon!

You may be familiar with Mr. Policy for his involvement with the National Football League. Policy, an Ohio native and attorney, joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1981 as Vice President and Council before becoming President and CEO in 1991. Throughout his time with the team, Policy played a key role in the 49ers Super Bowl victories in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990 and 1995.  After leaving the 49ers in July of 1998, Policy became a minority owner of the Cleveland Browns.

In 2002, the ultra-successful and influential authority of the gridiron decided to seek out a new challenge in quiet, agriculture-rich Napa Valley.  He acquired the property for Policy Vineyards in 2003.

Policy, always a fan of fine wines, founded Casa Piena, with wife Gail Policy. Casa Piena, which means “full house” in Italian, is a nod to Policy’s large family which consists of “three of a kind” (his sons) and “two of a kind” (his daughters). Casa Piena’s inaugural harvest was in October of 2006. Policy Vineyards, in back-road Yountville, provides prime conditions for four different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon grown there…including Policy’s favorite, Clone 7. With the help of winemaker, Thomas Brown and Vineyard Manager, Jim Barbour, Casa Piena has become a “cult” favorite…. producing excellent, well-balanced (and high-scoring) Cabernet Sauvignons.

Even though Policy has been successful in so many different realms, a visit to Policy Vineyards and Estate, hosted by Policy himself, revealed that he is an extremely sincere and genuinely hospitable and grateful person.

This week, Policy was gracious enough to take some time out of the vineyard to answer a few questions…

Describe Policy Vineyards using four words or less…
Unique gift from God
What is your most marked characteristic?
Problem solver- me personally
Wonderful Complexity – the vineyard
Walking through the vineyard makes you feel….
Humble and proud at the same time
What is the one topic you could talk about for days on end?
NFL experiences
Which living person do you most admire?
Mr. Daniel Rooney, Ambassador to Ireland and owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers
If you only had one last sip of wine, what would you choose?
Casa Piena Cabernet Sauvignon because it reminds me of family
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having a family that is comprised of great human beings
What is your most treasured possession?
My family and my memories

 

Blackbird Vineyards | A Lesson in Sourcing

September 17, 2013

 

In a recent 94-point review of the 2010 Blackbird Vineyards Contrarian, Wine Writer and Reviewer Steve Heimoff of Wine Enthusiast gave “kudos to Winemaker Aaron Pott for his remarkable blend from all around the valley.”

…From all around the valley!?  Yes, it’s true!  And when it comes to Blackbird’s wines,

“The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts…”

Blackbird Vineyards, borrowing from the authentic Bordeaux model, fosters long-term partnerships with premium vineyard sources throughout Napa Valley, where growers are passionate about their approach to farming.  In conjunction with the  Blackbird Estate Vineyard in the Oak Knoll District, which provides the foundation Merlot for the portfolio of Proprietary Red and Rosé wines,  Blackbird’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes are cultivated and harvested under the watchful eye of Aaron Pott, from a selection of the most esteemed vineyards in the valley.

The newly-released 2011 Arise Proprietary Wine, along with the rest of Blackbird’s wine portfolio,  is a prime example of Blackbird’s commitment to producing elegantly-styled, appropriately balanced red wines that offer short and long term cellaring potential…

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Acquire the 2011 Blackbird Arise and 2010 Blackbird Illustration, Paramour and Contrarian

Join BlackMail membership to receive custom shipments, secure your allocations, qualify for “Pricing in Perpetuity” and earn Bespoke Benefits points at an accelerated rate to redeem for exclusive experiences in Napa Valley; Mendoza, Argentina; or in your locale…