Sean McBride
 
January 30, 2018 | Letters from Napa Valley | Sean McBride

The Impossible Does Not Exist

This year, begin with love.

The Crosby Roamance package includes one bottle of the sultry 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon with a beautifully hand-blown heart-shaped glass dish from Simon Pearce. Optional, also included with a blank Valentine’s Day woodcut card. This wine is spectacular, and is sure to make that special someone in your life coo with pleasure; it makes a fine arrow in Cupid’s bow.  We have extremely limited quantities as usual … Purchase the Valentine’s Day Special here.

This year, “the impossible does not exist.”

Now that the rains have come to the valley, and an iridescent pale green grass covers the hills, it’s time to focus our attention on the new year. The winery is cold, and the sky is covered with a tumble of low, nebulous clouds. It’s quiet except for the sound of the bull-frog croaking in the rosemary bush outside our front door. How can we share the exuberance we feel about 2018? What we think is that we must make 2018 a year in which “the impossible does not exist.”

Everything changes.

There will be a few biggish changes at the winery in 2018. As many of you who know, in 2013 we produced our first Pinot Noir … we did it sort of on a dare and a whim and were surprised and delighted by the results.

That first Pinot Noir became a fast favorite. It was a riper style Pinot, with soft and lush fruit tones and a warm texture, and we were happy to see that people responded to it so immediately. But it wasn’t just the fact that people enjoyed it; there was also so much that went into making that wine that was important and different from what we had done before, which has informed and changed our winemaking in the years since.

Among other things, it was one of the first wines we pressed entirely by hand – an arduous process that we felt had immediate and recognizable benefits – and philosophically, it was a wine that we let go, a wine for which we didn’t have concerns about concentration or depth … just about transparency and umami. It was a turning point.

That’s the backstory. We tinkered with Pinot Noir again in 2014, but it wasn’t until 2016 that we ventured out of Napa Valley for the first time and produced a series of four Pinot Noirs from across California, including two wines from Filigreen Farm (a biodynamically farmed vineyard in Anderson Valley, Mendocino County), one wine from Carneros, Sonoma, and one wine from Kim Giles Vineyard overlooking San Pablo Bay in southern Napa. As these wines blossomed in barrel it became apparent to us that this was really a new venture. Something other.

This new venture is still in development; the wines have been bottled and are waiting for labels. They are delicious and delightfully different expressions of Pinot Noir, and we are very excited to share them with you – we just don’t know how to yet, or what to call them.

The more things change …

Which brings us back to our chilly winery and our Cabernet Sauvignon. Because in this whole process, as we thought more and more about Pinot Noir, from idiosyncratic places like Filigreen Farm and Kim Giles Vineyard, we came to understand Cabernet Sauvignon in a deeply new way. And not to make too fine a point about it, one might say that Crosby Roamann had “come out of itself” … that only in struggling to understand the other, does one come to recognize oneself. Because after 2013 – when we  finally came to see Crosby Roamann through the lens of a Pinot Noir that we produced reluctantly  – everything changed.

We started to experiment with native fermentations in each wine. We produced skin-fermented Sauvignon Blanc. We fermented Pinot Noir in new, open-top barrels. We experimented. With the Cabernet Sauvignon, we adopted a number of new techniques … closed-top barrel fermentation with daily rotations of the barrels, hand pressing of the must, extended maturation on the lees, with a total elevage of 30 months in all new French oak barrels. We forgot about the wines, only to rediscover them later. We had some issues. We learned some valuable lessons.

If you’ve been to the winery and talked to Sean, you know how passionate he is about Cabernet Sauvignon and how special this grape and these wines are to him. Our focus at Crosby Roamann is producing the single finest Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that we can. It is not hyperbole when we say the wines we are releasing today and over the next couple years are the best wines we have ever produced, and we are terribly excited to share them with you. They encompasses the very best of what Napa Valley is – rich, concentrated, and complex.

Valentine’s Day Special 2018

One bottle 2013 Cabernet Sauvignonwith a beautifully hand-blown heart-shaped glass dish from Simon Pearce. A blank Valentine’s Day woodcut card is included (optional). Shipping included.

Price: $99.00 

Which brings us full circle. As in previous years, we are offering a special Valentine’s Day package – a single bottle of our 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, with a beautifully hand-blown heart-shaped dish from Simon Pearce. This wine is spectacular, and is sure to make that special someone in your life coowith pleasure.

With love from Napa Valley,

Juliana & Sean

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