Happy Holidays from Crosby Roamann

Dear friends,

It’s been a wonderful year. While we are still settling into the routine of life and work at our new facility in the Crusher Wine District, the wines we are producing this year are probably the best we have ever made. I think they are the purest wines we have ever made … Especially the small lots of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, made with the most dedication and skill.

We completed the final phase of the warehouse renovation, and while that has been a benchmark it’s left us feeling a little like it’s not the end – “There will always be something….” But we’re very excited with our slightly new look. If you thought it looked cool before, you’ll love the improvements we’ve made.

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone that has visited the winery. Having you all come and enjoy the wines with us is ultimately the reason we do this. Which is also why we are throwing one more little shin-dig this weekend.

Holiday Party: Saturday 3 – 6 A Family Friendly Event

Come join us this Saturday for our last event of the year! We are partnering with CHEVOO and featuring their one-of-a-kind artisan goat cheese – a unique combination of hand-blended chèvre immersed in an olive oil infusion. Bring the kids: we’ll have the grill going too, or don’t: You can stop by for a glass of wine and then head to dinner with that special someone! RSVP here.

Membership for 2017

We know people say this all the time. We know you’re used to hearing it. And it is perhaps the only time of the year we’ll say this to you. But if you were ever going to do it, this would be the time. Joining as a Member now locks in 2016 pricing. We will also continue to honor pricing for Members who joined prior to 2016.

New pricing effective 2017:

  • Tier One – includes 12 bottles/year and receives a 10% discount
  • Tier Two – includes 24 bottles/year and receives a 15% discount
  • Tier Three – includes 36 bottles/year and receives a 20% discount

Our shipping schedule will also be changing in 2017. California residents and collectors will continue to receive wines upon release, every other month. Everyone else will receive two shipments per year, in the spring and the fall.

 

New year. New wines *
2014 Sauvignon Blanc
2014 Chardonnay
2014 Pinot Noir
2013 Merlot
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 Crosby’s Reserve

With love and best wishes for the holidays,

Juliana & Sean

* Schedule subject to change. Includes optional one-month Member’s pick or library wine substitute. Shipping and two tastings included, plus the annual Member’s gift.

10 years. 81 days.

81 days since the first day of harvest 2016! The madness of it! 81 days! So much has happened and so much has changed in just so short a period of time and such a long one. It’s funny how it can seem like forever ago and always seem like no time has passed at all.

A brief recap on harvest – Our 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Reserve Blanc are racked and topped. The Chardonnay is still very slowly percolating through secondary fermentation, and we are stirring it occasionally. The Beck Vineyard field-blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and our four lots of Pinot Noir – Napa, Sonoma, and two lots of Anderson Valley — are slowly completing malolactic fermentation as well, and the small lot of Harmony School Cabernet that fermented in bin and barrel is just starting.

And, we have just completed the tasting room renovation. The lights and ceiling were replaced and we will be open for tastings again following Thanksgiving break. It’s a project that we have been planning for a while … When we first bought our warehouse in 2014, it was a shell, just four concrete walls and a plywood roof: no insulation, no ceiling, no lighting or electricity and no plumbing. The first phase of renovation involved finishing the space and occupying it. During phase two we applied for, received and installed the winery permit and plumbing. Phase three, which we have just completed, involved renovating the tasting room, and it looks amazing. Please come see it – Schedule a winery tour and tasting here!

10 years.

It’s been ten years that we’ve been slowly building this thing called Crosby Roamann. Ten years! What more is there to say? It still feels as fresh and new, as exciting and different as it ever did, and yet it’s also starting to feel like something different, like something we have grown into, like something we have become: No longer a mask, but a reflection … And not a reflection, because this thing, this winery, these wines, this life, it isn’t a reflection at all, but a choice, a continuing affirmation, a continuing struggle, a cycle, an art. A portrait, and each time we return to it, each time we re-engage, we bring something new to the table, something from our other lives, something from our night-selves, something from our dreams.

We are not only the person we are, the child we were, the person we have become, but the person we desire to be. We are not only the reflection in the mirror, the physical, the actual, but also the potential, the imaginary. We must hold these two thoughts in our mind: Not only the possible, but also the impossible.

The castles of our future are paved with the bricks of our dreams.

The feast.

Join us for our Holiday Wine Celebration (and dance party for those who stay late) — Saturday, December 17, 2016. Details still to come, but we will have good food, great wines (as always) and dance music on the turntable. RSVP here and save the date!

For members.

We are closing out this year’s Inner Circle shipments with a blast-from-the-past: 2011 Crosby’s Reserve. This wine, a rich and succulent blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot aged in all new French oak for 22 months, has never tasted better. It has shed its youthful exuberance and grown into a sophisticated and stylish wine. Don’t miss it!

More news! Our Inner Circle membership shipping schedule will be changing in the new year. California residents and collectors (6-bottles+) can continue to receive wines upon release, every other month. Everyone else will receive two shipments per year, in the spring and the fall. Joining as a member now locks in your discounted pricing for the year. New pricing effective end of the year. Join now.

2011 Crosby’s Reserve

Napa Valley, Red Wine

750ml

 

Happy Harvest and a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving to our friends and family.

With love from Napa Valley,

Juliana & Sean

Happy Harvest!

2016: Low Yields & Excellent Quality + Thanksgiving Special
 
It has been madness since our last update … all of our fruit has come in and almost all of our wines have completed fermentation. The yeasty and warm aromas of fermenting juice have mostly dissipated, and the winery is slowly returning to some semblance of normalcy, so we have begun to plan our Thanksgiving release and holiday events (please see below).On September 24 we brought in just over a ton of fruit from Beck Vineyard and de-stemmed the fruit by hand. We’re co-fermenting the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot together and the blend is still fermenting after 31 days in tank. We’re tasting it a couple times a week and watching the concentration and complexity of the wine increase with each tasting … it has a color reminiscent of the evening sky just as the sun sets, a concentrated darkness with purplish highlights, with a fully ripe and succulent palate of dark berry compote.
 
We just picked our small lot of Cabernet Sauvignon from Harmony School Vineyard Sunday, October 9, at dawn. This fruit went directly into six new French oak barrels for extended fermentation and will continue to macerate for another 6-8 weeks.

 

Harmony School Vineyard

We harvested Chardonnay from Loma Blanca Vineyard in Carneros on the morning of September 25. The juice fermented quickly on native yeasts in a combination of new and neutral French oak and is just finishing malolactic fermentation now. We are beginning to stir the lees in the barrels for density and complexity of flavor.
 
One of the most interesting wines of the season was the Sauvignon Blanc from Alsace Vineyard in Rutherford. We picked this fruit on September 16 and whole cluster pressed the juice directly to a combination of once-used and neutral French oak. The wine fermented spontaneously on native yeasts despite very high ripeness. We set aside one barrel of the softest press wine to a new barrel for the Reserve Blanc, and while young, it is impeccably peachy and tropical, full bodied and wonderfully balanced.
 
And then there are the Pinot Noirs … as we reported earlier in the season, we were fortunate enough to contract for four separate small lots of Pinot Noir this year: one small lot from Gremlin Vineyard in the Carneros AVA of Sonoma Valley, a tiny portion of Napa Valley Pinot Noir from Kim Giles Vineyard just overlooking San Pablo Bay, and two separate lots from the bio-dynamically farmed Filigreen Farm in Anderson Valley. All of these lots fermented on native yeasts and the Gremlin, Kim Giles, and Filigreen Farms Old Vine lots were pressed by hand in our old hand-crank press. The barrels are still percolating through malolactic, but they taste wonderful, each lot distinctly unique even at this early stage.
 
Then, rain on October 18 officially brought this year’s harvest to a close. In short, it’s been a very exciting time in our little industrial chic warehouse on the outskirts of Napa!
 
Some new wines to tempt you…We bottled a truly boutique 27 cases of 2014 Reserve Blanc (a late harvest, un-inoculated and skin-fermented Sauvignon Blanc) on September 18 with help from our Arvai family and our master of the cave Ben “Cooperman” Kopman. You can find pictures from all of it on Instagram here. It will be released later this year. We are also shortly releasing the regular blend of the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from St. Helena, Napa Valley. Notes and more details will be forthcoming shortly, but this is a fully loaded and beautifully nuanced Sauvignon with our house style tropical fruit, vanilla, and citrusy mid-palate.
 
For Thanksgiving we are releasing a Thanksgiving Special Selection. Choose either a six bottle set (three bottles each of 2013 Chardonnay and 2013 Pinot Noir) or the “party package” with twelve bottles (three bottles each of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon). Shipping included until Friday November 11.

We hope to see you at the winery soon!

With love from Napa Valley,

Juliana & Sean

Winery News

Dear Friends,

The summer flew by in a lazy dream. Most days a prolonged fog hung in the air until near-midday. When the cloud cover finally burned off, it revealed a warming afternoon light. Then came cool breezes. In these last moments of summer, as the afternoon light shined over the mountains, and a cool wind blew in from the north, we could feel an effortless, calming beauty. Time stretched out before us unknown, unknowable. “The past and the future … empty as a dream.”

2016 marks the second harvest under our own roof. We have already brought in fruit from two vineyards. Our first harvest was September 1: Pinot Noir from Gremlin Vineyard in Carneros, Sonoma, just down the road from our little house in town. The second pick was just this past Monday, Labor Day, from Kim Giles Vineyard, a place stranded between Carneros and American Canyon and just above the San Pablo Bay. We are thrilled to be working with both of these vineyards for the first time. The Pinot Noir from Gremlin is already nearing the completion of fermentation on indigenous yeasts; Kim Giles’s fruit has barely begun.

But there’s more. We are also very excited to be working with two new Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in Napa Valley: Beck Vineyard, a less than one acre plot of clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon with a small planting of Merlot alongside it, and Harmony School Vineyard, a one-acre vineyard of clone 6. Both vineyards are in the foothills of the Vaca Mountains, in the Coombsville AVA. We will also be returning to Loma Blanc Vineyard for old, Wente clone Chardonnay from the Carneros, Napa appellation, and we will be bringing in Sauvignon Blanc from Alsace Vineyard in Rutherford. For the first time we will also bring in a small amount of Pinot Noir from Filigreen Farm, an organic farm just north of Boonville, CA in Anderson Valley.

In the tasting room and online, we have three new wines available: The 2015 Rosé de Saignée, a tasty and succulent dry rosé wine with a deep red rose color, the 2013 Chardonnay, and the 2013 Pinot Noir, both from Carneros, Napa Valley. Find them here. And there are many exciting changes at the winery. We initiated a new online reservation system, which has greatly streamlined the reservation process for the tasting room. We’ve incorporated more and newer wines into the selection available by the glass. We’ve added some new items to the tasting menu – including Vignette Wine Country Sodas for all the families with children visiting the winery – and we’ve added photography by Darren Ankenman and have new paintings on display from Aiden Kringen.

As always, the magic trick is to continue to be completely and effortlessly true. As a stand-alone, bonded winery in downtown Napa Valley, we are committed to working with small, sustainable farms, to non-interventionist winemaking, and handmade, artisanal wines. If you haven’t already, schedule a tasting with Sean or Juliana here.

Upcoming Events

Walk to End Alzheimer’s — There is still time to contribute to our 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s event this Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Yountville, CA. $5 from every bottle of 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon sold now through September 10, 2016 is donated to the our local Alzheimer’s Association in honor of Norma “Peachy” Crosby.  Buy that wine here. Support our team or make a donation in support of your own loved one!

Crusher Games III — Explore the Crusher Wine District and visit our industrial chic winery space in Napa Valley next September 17th, Noon – 4pm! The Crusher Wine District is a cutting-edge collective of modern, edgy and urban wineries clustered in the south district of Napa. For our third annual Crusher Games, we’ll have a selection of whimsical games to enjoy outside (think Wine Pong, Barrel Putt-Putt, Bung Bung Barrel Toss, etc.), amazing prizes, DJ spinning and, of course, we’ve lined up some great food for you enjoy. Enter the code CROSBY for a $10 discount per ticket.

A special note to members

We held off on shipping and charging members for the July shipment due to continued warm temperatures throughout the month. Members who have not already picked up their allocations will be receiving their July and September shipments in the mail within the next month. July was our “choose your allocation” month, so if you haven’t already done so, please let us know which wine from the library you’d like us to include in your shipment by writing Juliana here.

Juliana & Sean

Cooking with Crosby Roamann: Brisket & Latkes

The title “Cooking with Crosby Roamann” lends too much credence to our extremely humble kitchen work.  The recipes we like to share tend to come from cookbooks we’ve collected over the years, or friends and family. The recipe for our Chanukah latkes comes from one of our favorites, the “Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook” by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford (identical twins, like our daughters).

Neither of us remembers who bought this cookbook for us almost a decade ago when we were first married, but we both know which cookbook we’re talking about when we say, “It’s in that cookbook.” A couple of our favorites: the buttermilk pancakes with melted berries, the maple-glazed spiced carrots, the flaky piecrust, and oh yes, the latkes: page 164.

The trick to great latkes, we’ve learned, is processing the onions with the potatoes and squeezing the juice out of it all before mixing it with beaten eggs and matzoh meal. We serve them with both apple sauce and sour cream — everyone tries them both. If we’ve been especially naughty, we may also add a little dollop of caviar.

We love the recipe for Sweet and Sour Brisket from Mary and Sara as well, but nine times out of ten we go with a modified version of a recipe (we use a slow cooker) from an old friend of the family, Suzanne Bartash:

  • 2lb brisket (1st cut)
  • 2 onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 hits Tabasco
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • pepper to taste

Season the brisket on all sides, then sauté the brisket in vegetable oil for 4-5 minutes on each side before transferring it to a slow cooker. Sauté the onions in the brisket fat and remaining oil till they’re lightly browned, then transfer them to the slow cooker as well, with any remaining juices. Mix the garlic, sugar, Tabasco, vinegar, ketchup, water, and salt in a small bowl till it’s consistent, then add it to the pot. We slow cook the brisket for 6-8 hours on “medium,” then remove it, slice it against the grain, and return it to the pot to continue cooking on low until dinner.

Crosby Roamann 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 6-bottle Wood Case (Shipping Included)

The faint edge of spring hits the air like a question mark and the head and the heart run in opposite directions. It’s a wonderful time to be drinking fiery and spicy reds: country reds like Tempranillo and briefly aged Priorat, Pommards and very old Bordeaux. One of our own wines we keep coming back to this month is the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, which is still so robust and chalky and concentrated that it is just now peaking — all the flavors of vanilla, white pepper, beef blood, and graphite melting into one.

The wine was made from grapes grown at White Rock Vineyards in the steep foothills of the Vaca Mountains. The vineyard is named for a stratum of fist-sized white stones very near the surface of the earth which lends the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grown here a chalky texture and heady perfume. In warmer years like 2007, the Petit Verdot develops a strikingly French perfume which always reminds me of the best Grenache-based wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, reminiscent of jasmine and May rose, lavender and citrus.

Crosby Roamann has been a tribute to the women in the McBride family since its beginning. And the wines that we enjoy this time of year are not so very different from the women for whom we named the winery: creative, artistic, brilliant in their own ways, fiery, diplomatic, mercurial, ever changing, ever growing, silent at times, often times rambunctious, wonderful, and beautiful. Sometimes I think wines are like their winemakers, mirrors of their soul. Sometimes I think wines are like children, for whom we want everything, but who surprise us when they outshine us. This is one of those wines.

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 6-bottle Wood Case (Shipping Included)

We support the Alzheimer’s Association in memory of Peachy Crosby!

$5 from every bottle of 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon sold now through September 10, 2016 is donated to the 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Napa Valley, CA Saturday, September 10, 2016.  Support our team or make a donation in support of your own loved one. Walk with us: We’d love to have you JOIN THE CROSBY ROAMANN TEAM!

FAQ: Who’s the lady on the bottle? Anne McBride.

 

Pinot Noir Release

Crosby Roamance Valentine’s Day Special 2016

In 2013 we were approached by a friend who manages vineyards. On offer were five short rows of Dijon-clone Pinot Noir vines grown in exceptionally cool conditions at the very southernmost edge of Napa Valley, in the community of American Canyon. On some nights, from here on the water’s edge, you can see the lights of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco twinkling in the distance.

The vineyards in American Canyon ascend the gently rising Vaca foothills east of Highway 29. In some ways, this place is unglorified and unglamorous, but that’s one of the things we love about it … how in so many ways this stretch of gently rising vineyard land running along the coast of San Pablo Bay is so very un-Napa.

The fruit displayed very ripe raspberry and cherry cola flavors; although delightful, it needed balance. So we decided to look for another small lot of Pinot that could provide a counterpoint. We found it at a small, family owned vineyard in Carneros known colloquially as the Pig Farm, where a small selection of 38 year old heritage-selection Pinot Noir vines grow. It tasted woodsy and feral, with spice, dried herbs and musque.

We harvested both vineyards the same day. The friend who introduced us to the American Canyon vineyard picked that fruit with his crew; we harvested the Pig Farm fruit with Eric Arvai, Nathanial “Bananas” Foster, and Ben Kopman. Eric, Bananas, Ben, and Sean took turns rotating the old hand crank to destem the fruit, which took four hours. (Bananas claims he was stung in the eye by a bee in the process. It was our first — and to this day, only — harvest injury.) We spent the rest of the night drinking 2009 Dark Garden Cabernet Sauvignon, and eating pizza, and telling jokes, like the first night we all bottled our first wine, in Yountville, not so many years ago.

Both lots of Pinot Noir fermented on indigenous yeasts, and we pressed in small batches over two days, again by hand, after seventeen days on the skins. We racked the young wine to three once-used barrels and one new half-barrel, all French. The wine completed malolactic fermentation in barrel slowly, and remained on its lees for another twelve months. We racked and blended the wine to tank after twenty months in barrel and bottled with neither fining nor filtration.

The 2013 Pinot Noir Napa Valley is plush and soft and warm and fruity. The American Canyon fruit lends it tart raspberry and confectioner sugar qualities; the Carneros fruit lends it a woodsy and earthy substance. While young, it drinks beautifully now and will age wonderfully for 5-8 years.

For a limited time we are offering a Valentine’s Day Special including two bottles of Pinot Noir and a two-truffle box from Kollar Chocolates. Limited to one special per person.

Members of the inner circle can add the Valentine’s Day Special by logging into their accounts or contacting Juliana@crosbyroamann.com.

A Wonderful New Year

A light mist is falling from a grey sky. The buildings are empty and quiet here at Enterprise Court except for us in the barrel room at Crosby Roamann. It has been a wonderful month thanks to everyone who has come out to visit us during this quiet season in Napa.

In the past week, we have racked half the wines and cleaned and topped all the rest of the barrels and cleaned out the back of the winery. The girls have been a tremendous help hard at work (Scarlett and Audrey, above). We are racking and blending our 2015 Rosé de Saignée and Merlot wines today, and we’ll be open again tomorrow morning. If you haven’t been out to visit us please consider planning a trip soon. You can make an appointment here.

We now offer growlers of our wines in the tasting room. A $10 half-gallon growler contains about two-and-a-half bottles of wine, and is available in white, rose, and red. There is a $5 deposit for the growler, which is refillable when you visit. Members in California can also add growlers to their membership, but you’ll have to bring or ship the growlers back to us.

The price of a new membership will be increasing in 2016, so it’s a great time to sign up and save on shipping for the New Year. Members who joined during or prior to 2015 will continue to receive shipping included on their purchases. You can join the inner circle here.

Again, thank you to everyone who has made this such an incredible year! We look to forward to welcoming you at the winery soon.

Best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

 

Under 2C

There is something amazing happening in Paris: Starting today and lasting through December 11, France will be welcoming heads of state from around the world for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change “Under 2C” refers to the goal of limiting warming to below 2°c, which Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists say is needed to avoid dangerous climate change (http://under2mou.org/). We are very excited that this time, it may just be possible that world leaders will take meaningful and actionable steps towards a better future. Climate change effects not only us in the agricultural sector, but all of us around the world. To that end, we’d like to offer our own, special “Cyber Monday/Giving Tuesday” deal as we head into the season of giving back.

Starting now, and lasting through noon PST December 1, 2015, Crosby Roamann will donate all proceeds from wine sales to a select group of environmental charities. We hope to raise $3000 in this endeavor.* And as always, all Crosby Roamann wines will ship UPS Carbon Neutral.

Additionally, this season, please consider supporting small business owners and entrepreneurs.  One of our favorites, Start Small Think Big is an amazing non-profit centered around the idea of empowering entrepreneurs through a variety of financial and legal pro-bono services to help amazing business owners grow.  You can donate here and all profits are matched dollar for dollar on Tuesday December 1st:bidpal.net/startsmallgivingtuesday2015

Here’s to a better future,

Juliana & Sean

* Just so we don’t lose our shirts, we have to cap our maximum contribution at $3000. Want to donate more? Go here http://350.org/ or http://www.ran.org/

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have an ongoing debate whether Thanksgiving meal should be labeled “linner” or “dunch” with our children predictably taking opposite sides. The criteria on which we might form the basis of an opinion are unclear. We have a similar debate within our extended family over what sort of turkey should be served and what size, what sort of potato to serve, which sides, when to eat, what to prepare for dessert. Who will cook what? There are strongly held opinions, one might even say entrenched, over otherwise trivial aspects of our linner/dunch, and bizarre, decades old alliances.

Perhaps it’s the debate that matters.

Outside, the late-summer gold of earth extends into the early-winter blue of sky and the vines are almost barren. Their once soft green shoots lignified and brittle: what once bent, now breaks. The soil is moist and the almost-electric-green fuzz of fresh grass covers the hills and fields. From inside come the scattered shouts and murmurs of children. The occasional whistle blows from the television.

This month and next Members receive 2012 Crosby’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine displays a depth and complexity of flavors, with absorbing notes of woodsmoke, boysenberry, vanilla, and milk chocolate. Just 104 cases produced. Members may also now choose to receive their wines twice a year, in Spring and Fall, or may continue to receive them on release. We’ve also added a 3-bottle membership option, which seems in retrospect so obvious were astounded we didn’t think of it earlier. Join the inner circle here: http://crosbyroamann.com/members/

Find the wines here: http://crosbyroamann.com/store/

Wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving with love, peace, and friendship.

Juliana and Sean

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