This property was a part of the original portion of General Vallejo’s land grant, where vines were first planted in 1870. The vineyards are situated just below one of Shafer's famed “Hillside Select” vineyards and they consequently share the same distinct volcanic and bedrock soils.
In 1960, owner Henri Vendendrissche arrived from Northern France and fell in love with his future partner-in-life-and-vine, Claire. By 1977, they had purchased the 66-acre estate and began realizing their vision of restoring the property to its former grandeur.
Today, their vines are farmed totally organic, although they have yet to seek certification. Their philosophy states, “if our kids were to eat the dirt in our vineyards, they wouldn’t be harmed.” Their son, Christopher, became the winemaker at White Rock after pursuing his education at various famous houses including Château Pape Clément in Bordeaux and Bodegas Remelluri in Rioja. His brother, Michael, oversees the vineyards for the property. The incredibly quality-conscious winery has been, and remains to be, family run.
We are offering their 2009 Napa Valley Claret-- it is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (51%), Cabernet Franc (27%), Merlot (20%), and Petite Verdot (2%). Crafted from traditional Bordeaux varietals, this is one of my favorite Napa Valley wines of recent memory. Made in a very traditional and balanced style, with a perfect interplay of earth and fruit, it boasts flavors of freshly picked wild blackberries, black plum and red currant, balanced with earth-driven characteristics of dried violets, fresh leather, cedar and tilled earth. Notes of vanilla bean and oak spice are elegantly woven into the background thanks to their restraint in oak use.
While perfectly approachable this very minute, this beautifully crafted Claret can easily last 10 more years if properly cellared. A recent favorite pairing with this wine is Braised Beef Short Ribs with Black Truffle Mashed Potatoes. Ideally decant one hour prior to enjoying and serve at roughly 65 degrees. Don’t miss this unique Napa Valley gem where the quality tastes twice the price!