There are 5 clones planted on 10 acres, making this a true “winemaker’s” vineyard. The soils are excellent for Pinot: thin, calcareous, chalky, and loamy. The vineyard is on a slight slope, so the rain and wetness drains away quite nicely. The weather is cool and foggy, and the coastal influence is excellent for growing great Pinot noir.
100% Carneros Pinot Noir (Clones: 115, 459, 777, Calera & Pommard). Gentle and minimalist handling during the fermentation(hand sorting, gentle destemming, and manual punch downs) help to make this wine great. This wine was treated with kid gloves throughout harvest, aging, and bottling. All French oak barrels were utilized to age this wine for 12 months prior to bottling.
Two Iron Cabernet Sauvignon (2011)
94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 2% Petite Verdot. Destemmed and fermented in small stainless steel tanks for a total maceration period of 28 days. The wine was racked to small, French and American oak barriques for 26 months to allow mellowing and complexity.
Little Giant (2011)
The “Little Giant” on the label is a tribute to the Newfoundland breed. These dogs are sturdy, loyal, little giants that have been bred as a working dog on the eastern seaboard. Cabernet Sauvignon is often thought of as being a little giant as well. Dark in color, and substantial in body, cabernet sauvignon is often a loyal dinner companion and pairing with full bodied dishes. Newfoundlands and Cabernet are two passions of owner/winemaker Chris Dearden. The Palisades are the backdrop for the small, organic vineyard in Calistoga where Dearden sourced the grapes to make this wine. It was planted an average of 15 years ago and as a result the roots have run deep and the fruit has begun to take on the mature characteristics of a fine, Napa Valley vineyard.
This second vintage of Little Giant is a truly exceptional representation of what can be achieved in a difficult vintage. It is deeply hued, possesses amazing aromas of blackberry, coffee, and caramel and toasted oak. It is full bodied and brimming with dark fruits, wet earth, and exotic spices. It will accompany most all hearty dishes of prime beef, lamb chops, and aged hard cheeses. This elegant wine will age for upwards of twenty years, with optimum cellaring until 2018. Until then, we recommend that you decant the wine and enjoy it with all occasions both grand and humble.
The talented Chris Dearden produces stunning wine from cabernet sauvignon fruit, sourced from two fabled vineyards. He adds just a bit of Merlot and Petit Verdot to give it more body and character. The result is a special medium bodied blend that pairs nicely with anything from a bad day, to Beef Wellington, and beyond.
The Sonoma County Cabernet is a blend of 74% from Alexander Valley, 16% from Dry Creek Valley. The alluvial soils in Alexander Valley, and the red, iron-laden soils of Dry Creek help to create an exceptional blend. The fruit for this wine was gently destemmed and fermented in tank for 20 days each prior to pressing and placing in small, new and once-used American and French oak cooperage. It was aged for over 12 months prior to bottling in November of 2012.
Chris Dearden Wines we feature:
- Argus Pinot Noir 2013
- Argus Rosato 2013
- Little Giant 2011
- Train Wreck Sauvignon Blanc 2012
- Train Wreck Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
- Two Iron Cabernet Sauvignon 2011