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Napa

Undiscovered Wines of Napa Valley

A Note from Gary Fisch (Founder of Gary’s):

I first visited Napa Valley in 1979 on a trip to visit Louis Martini Winery. This trip forever changed the course of my career and my life, and inspired me to open my first wine store in 1987. Fast forward over 30 years, I’ve recently had the honor of opening a wine & marketplace back where it all began.

Over the years, I’ve cultivated many deep and meaningful friendships with vintners and others in the industry across the region. I’ve had the opportunity to taste wines from every corner of the valley. Those new to Napa Valley wines tend to appreciate the straightforwardness of the region. But, if a person knows where to look, Napa Valley also boasts some of the wine world’s best-kept secrets. The intimate, lesser-known wineries of Napa Valley push boundaries and finesse some of the region’s finest wines, all while happily existing off the beaten path.

It is with great privilege that I share with you five undiscovered wines from across the Valley, compiled by Chris Poulos, our Beverage Purchasing and Sales Manager in Napa Valley.

favia

Gary Fisch with Annie Favia and Andy Erickson at PNV 2017

Napa Valley power couple Andy Erickson and Annie Favia have somehow managed to stay out of the limelight, but with their formidable lineup of full-flavored wines, we wonder how long the duo will remain that way.

Their 2016 expression of Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied, purple-black wine that teems with black cherry, blackcurrant, and raspberry, before moving into a distinctly floral, black-tea finish. These layers of fruity, floral, and earthy seem endless in this fully perfumed wine. And with just 343 cases produced, this one is sure to go quickly.

Available for sale here for $175.

Having studied under the famed David Abreu, winemaker Jennifer Williams brings an impressive pedigree to her partnership with noted rare coin dealer Steve Contursi. Williams is known for the subtly of her practice in winemaking and is also recognized for her earlier work at Spottswoode, where she crafted several fantastic expressions.
In a word, Arrow & Branch’s 2014 offering is profound. Profound in its depth and construction, and profound in its expression of silky blueberry and robust, smokey cocoa. A remarkable finish serves as the exclamation point to this indulgent wine, insisting that the drinker savor its immense character. 

Available for sale here for $100.

MC4 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

MC4 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

MC4 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

MC4 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

When we talk about wineries being off the beaten path, MC4 comes to mind immediately. The MC4 vineyard is but a postage stamp against the vast background of Napa, and can be found neatly tucked away on the northern side of St. Helena.

This 2016 offering from MC4 brings nostalgic flavors of the late 70s, lithe and fruit-soaked with a subtlety that is rarely found in contemporary Napa Valley Cabernets. For those feeling exhausted by Napa’s current maximalist approach to the Cabernet, this wine is a timely must-try.

Available for sale here for $75.

To say that Napa winemaker Russell Bevan gets it right would be an egregious understatement. Bevan crafts some of Napa’s most unapologetically hedonistic expressions, often dripping with robust stonefruit and berry complexities.

Ontogeny is Bevan’s entry-level wine, but don’t be fooled: this wine reaches heights than many vintners’ reserve wines can only hope to achieve. Among Bevan’s lineup of truly remarkable offerings, Ontogeny claims its rightful place — full-bodied with notes of blueberries, blood orange, and floral-sweet violets.

Available for sale here for $100.

Bevan Winemaker Russell Bevan

The Terraces Winemaker Timm Crull

In an era where winemakers are celebrities and celebrities are winemakers, Timm Crull is singular in his approach. For over 25 years, Crull’s wines have been (perhaps unjustly) flying under the proverbial radar of Napa Valley. His wines are dusty and homespun in a way that is refreshingly authentic, and this 2016 Cabernet is no exception. 

This deep purple Cabernet is well-balanced with aromatic cassis, blackberry, and coffee notes that evolve into a delicately spiced finish, lingering pleasantly after leaving the palate.

Available for sale here for $69.

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