These grapes added further elegance, richness, and complexity to the finished wine. In the current vintage, I’m struck by the aroma at first, with its combination of cassis and fresh blackberry. The texture is both balanced and mouth-filling. The flavor is the highlight though, and almost from the start there’s complexity with a wide range
of flavors.

Growing Conditions

The idea behind our Neyers Left Bank Red comes from my early days in the wine business, after I was hired as a part-time clerk at Connoisseur Wine Imports. It was a legendary wine store in the warehouse district south of Market Street in San Francisco, and was among the most respected fine wine sources in the country. The owners specialized in red Bordeaux. In our weekly staff tastings, I learned to love these grand wines of France, but those of Saint Julien became especially important to me. Later, I learned that Saint Julien wines owed much of their charm to the high percentage of
gravel in the soil where the vines grew, along the Gironde River. In 1984, Barbara and I bought a small piece of land in the Napa Valley, and the geological report indicated that the soil adjacent to the creek that flowed through the south end of the property was rich with gravel. We planted that parcel to Merlot. In 1996 we purchased land adjacent to the Merlot vineyard, and planted it to Cabernet Sauvignon. For several years, we made two separate wines from the vineyards. In 2015 our winemaker, Tadeo Borchardt, proposed we blend the two wines together, and make a site-specific blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, a wine that would more
accurately display the charms of these varieties grown in gravelly soil. I liked his idea, and while it might well be the power of suggestion, I still find hints of Saint Julien in
the blend.