So my first hard crush on California wine was Cabernet Sauvignon. In the mid-90's I considered myself quite the connoisseur while learning about this Noble Grape. I still have the signed book "Plain Talk about Fine Wine" written by the late Justin Meyer, founder of Silver Oak. Lord I must have read it 100 times sitting on my porch in Dallas, goblet of Cabernet in hand ...his words will always be remembered.
It was also the 1999 Wine Spectator Wine of the Year cover that made a big impression on me ...Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County Cinq Cépages 1996 received the #1 spot and this Baylor gal from Fort Worth, Texas had just scored a six-pack from the local wine shop near Highland Park in Dallas. Those 6 extremely hard to find special bottles of SONOMA COUNTY Cabernet Sauvignon certainly elevated my noggin as I spread the love of this #1 wine of the year glass by glass with my closest friends.
12 years later, I was honored to travel in Bordeaux with mentors Clyde Beffa and Ralph Sands of K&L Wine Merchants. A true milestone week for me at all First Growths and tasted a hundred or so more incredible wines from this epic Cabernet Sauvignon-centric region. 15 years later, Cabernet Sauvignon was first on the list of wines Eric and I wanted to produce from California. A full circle moment in addition to being beyond thrilled having consulting winemaker Katy Wilson as our Cabernet shepherd.
"In 2015, we had the exciting opportunity to start making Smith Story Pickberry Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Ali and Eric have loved wines from the Pickberry Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain for many years. When I first visited the vineyard, I also felt that it was a special site. Vineyard owners Cris and Lorna have spent years working the land. The combination of vines that are over 20 years old, volcanic soils, and cool nights make a wine that is very complex with ripe, yet vibrant flavors.
My journey in making Cabernet Sauvignon started at Joseph Phelps winery where I worked in 2006 as a harvest intern and stayed on through the following spring. In 2009, I became the associate winemaker at Kamen Wines in Sonoma making Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Moon Mountain. I spent five years at Kamen where I made big, bold mountain Cabernet working under consulting winemaker Mark Herold. In making the 2015 Smith Story Cabernet, our goal was to make a wine that has the boldness of mountain Cabernet with the elegance and vibrancy that comes from a slightly cooler region." Katy Wilson., Co-winemaker.
Our inaugural 2015 Smith Story Wine Cellars Pickberry Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon is one for the record books, we are so very proud! Thanks to many of you who have purchased and also attended our Fall Open House last weekend. The first guests through the door were Cris and Lorna of Pickberry VIneyard. Their vineyard was the very last to be reported safe from the horrific fires last month, seeing them brought a few tears covered in smiles. Cris and Lorna have believed in our vision and have been cheering us on, a treasured family to us and our new winery. Thanks for listening tonight, and cheers to sipping our new Cabernet soon!
This is Our (and my special cabernet) Story.
PS. my pic up there was my first selfie ever...taken in the ladies room while visiting Château Mouton Rothschild, April 2011. #truestory!