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

Happy Halloween!

The magic point where every idea and its opposite are equally true. [1]

This time of year the rains arrive unexpected but wholly welcome, like friends. At first, you’re reminded of your last chance encounter, and say things like, “It’s so nice,” and “Well, well, well,” and there is a little dancing in the rain when no one is watching. Later, the shadows grow and the evenings settle dark and chilly. In the mornings a blanket of cool mist hangs in the air. You can feel the weight of your life, the moment of your existence, which is to say your truth.

Many of our friends and guests passing through the tasting room have been asking what the vintage was like. In some ways the nascent wines typify the aggressive growing season: an extremely short winter followed by an extreme drought through spring. They are ripe, without question, and the tannins will need time in barrel to soften, and perhaps some coaxing, but we are excited about them—especially since it is the first time we’ve produced all of our wines under our own roof.

We could not go on without another word about the drought, which shifted the harvest forward, and the fires in Napa, Sonoma and Lake Counties, which brought so much loss to so many. Thankfully (for once) neither affected us. To stay ahead of sugars many people were picking their white grapes at the end of July, and some completed all their harvests by the end of August. As in many years, we waited. This waiting hasn’t become an easy thing to do where once it was. The vin d’avant garde (s’il vous plais) of California winemaking is to pick early. You find this repeated in the world of wine today from Jon Bonné’s The New California Wine to Bruce Schoenfeld’s New York Times piece The Wrath of Grapes[2] But we did what we have always done — not the easiest thing — we waited, because we felt it was especially important this year to allow the seeds and stems of the grape clusters to lignify, which will produce softer, more concentrated wines, with fully ripe mid-palate structure.  We believe you will be impressed with the results.

As the wines have finished fermenting and have been pressed and readied for aging there is a feeling of what Martin Heidegger would have called Gelassenheit – a feeling of releasement, or “calm composure.” [3] These wines are like our children. We have done everything we can for them. Their paths in life, and ours, etched lightly in the future, like students who have recently accepted admissions to college, “the world stretched out before us not as a slate of possibility, but as a maze of well-worn grooves like the ridges burrowed by insects in hardwood.” [4]

By contrast, 2012 was a classically beautiful growing season. It was lazy and beautiful and calm and sort of quiet and harvest extended later and later. That year we were making Cabernet Sauvignon from two different vineyards just across the street from each other: one in Rutherford on the north side of Skellenger Lane and one in Oakville, on the south side. When a rainstorm appeared on the horizon and everyone scrambled to get all the fruit in as quickly as possible, we picked 13 tons of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon within a week.

The Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, our featured wine for November, comes from young vines grown in a deep composite gray clay soil with tiny, bright blue berries. We harvested by hand on the afternoon of October 22, and manually sorted and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel for twenty-eight days. One barrel of Merlot from the Oak Knoll District was blended in (10%), and the wine spent thirty months in French and American oak barrels, 60% new. We produced ten barrels of this wine – two were chosen for Crosby’s Reserve and we bottled 207 cases from the rest. The wine is layered and refined. We love the balance of fruit and tannin in this wine, which displays notes of blueberries, mild dried herbs, vanilla and confectioner’s sugar.

Happy Halloween!

Juliana & Sean

UPCOMING EVENTS: Crusher Wine District Wine Hopper Weekend: November 7-8. Tickets available.

[1] Tart, Donna. The Goldfinch. Back Bay Books, New York, 2013 p. 767.
[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/magazine/the-wrath-of-grapes.html
[3] Heidegger, Martin. Country Path Conversations. Trans. By Bret W. Davis. Indiana Univ. Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 2010 p. xi.
[4] Klein, Naomi. No Logo. Picador, New York, 2010 p. 63.

Moonlight Merlot

Time, which ravages fortresses and great cities, only enriches poetry.
– Jorge Louis Borges, The Aleph and Other Stories, p. 76.

Midnight, September 20, 2013: We are standing in Jaeger Vineyard on Big Ranch Road. There is a full moon in the sky, with a glorious halo, which I cannot capture on my phone. It is shining so bright we almost can’t see the stars. Adding to the confusion is the portable light array hovering over our heads. In the dark, it looks sort of like a giant television antenna turned on its side with long fluorescent lights strung every meter or so. It passes over the rows of vines like a UFO as our crew is picking fruit.

I am snapping pictures in the darkness wearing a headlamp. I speak haltingly with the crew in broken Spanish that I have picked up by translating words on Google, always mindful of the quality of fruit that is picked for our wines. Just a year before this, at midnight of October 18, 2012, I stood in this same place with the crew harvesting Merlot.

September 27, 2015: I am reminded of this harvest two years ago as we enjoy the rising of the lunar eclipse. Sunday night found us sitting as a family on the roof of our garage watching the moon, very dark on the horizon, partly obscured by trees to our east. Later, as the night deepened, we lay on a blanket in the cool, damp grass stargazing, satellites crisscrossing the sky.

Our Merlot harvest is scheduled for tonight, and the circle of time completes another rotation, with its own unique variations. Our theme for the month is Moonlight Merlot. This will be our sixth vintage from this vineyard. The Merlot is more feral and whimsical than its cousin Cabernet Sauvignon, which is all smooth lines and fancy footwork. We love Merlot’s sweet blackberry musk, its playful acidity, like the juice from rare steak. Wonderfully ripe yet balanced. Buy it here.

It’s a great time to visit our new tasting room in Napa. We are offering a complimentary vertical tasting of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 vintages of Merlot through October. And while you’re here you can sample wines from barrel and inspect the final phase of our construction, at the conclusion of which we will be able to recapture and recycle 100% of our winery wastewater. If you’d like to schedule a visit, just reply to Juliana.

Wine tells a story. This is ours. Join us in Napa Valley. Become a Member.


Past, Present, and Future

We’ve moved! And there are no words to describe how thrilled we are to share with you the news of the opening of our winery. This process has been in the works since we first conceived of launching Crosby Roamann in the winter of 2006, and as many of you know, we’ve bounced around considerably since then. We’ve produced wines at five different wineries in the past nine years, often simultaneously, procuring grapes from seventeen different vineyards. But starting with the 2015 harvest our handmade wines will be produced entirely under our own roof at 45 Enterprise Court #6 in Napa, California – and we couldn’t be more excited!

Our tasting room is now open by appointment, and we are currently offering two tastings per day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with tasting times varying to accommodate guests’ schedules. We can accommodate groups of eight, and we have three flights to choose from:

+ The Cupiens Videre Lucem Series — featuring our current releases;
+ The Library Wines Tasting — featuring Crosby Roamann past vintages; and
+ The Serotonin Collection — a selection of Crosby Roamann wines paired with wines from around the world that inspire and intrigue.

Library wines and limited production new releases are only available for purchase in the tasting room, including our few remaining bottles of 2009 Dark Garden Cabernet Sauvignon and our upcoming 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Georges III Vineyard in Rutherford, Napa Valley. Wines are also available by the glass. All tastings are accompanied by small plates.

Upcoming Events & Open House

We are hosting an Open House at the winery the first Friday of Bottle Rock weekend, May 29th from 12-5pm.  Stop in on your way to the concert. We’ll have the grill going, wine and champagne will be chilled and flowing.  Mark your calendars and pop in!

Later that very same weekend we’ll be at the annual Mill Valley Gourmet Wine & Food Festival, our 3rd year running.

Crosby Roamann Private Dining: And on Thursday evening June 4th we’ll be hosting an intimate evening at GARIBALDIS San Francisco for a special wine dinner, limited to 12 people.  Secure your spot here!

Happy Spring, let’s celebrate!

Juliana & Sean

Du Jour Dining — April 18

Dear Friends,

We are so excited to be partnering with Du Jour Dining on April 18th for a unique NINE course dinner with wine pairings at Chef Vance and Kelly’s historic 1880 Victorian home on Sonoma Square. Spring is in full swing and that means great produce, including asparagus, peas, carrots, spring garlic, chanterelle mushrooms, pepper cress, Brussels sprouts, rhubarb, mint, rutabaga, red peppers and strawberries. Each course is paired with one of our Crosby Roamann wines. Vance and Kelly, Sean and I will be on hand discussing each course and accompaniment.

Get your tickets here. 

Du Jour Dining & Crosby Roamann
April 18, 2015HMB Farms Sweet Pea Custard, Heirloom Carrot Mousseline & Caviar
2014 Crosby Roamann Napa Valley Rose de Saignee

Glen Ellen Duck Egg, Potato & Asparagus

Creamy Spring Garlic Soup with Herbed Beignet
2012 Crosby Roamann St. Helena Sauvignon Blanc

Chanterelle Mushrooms & Pepper Cress Panna Cotta
2011 Crosby Roamann Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Miso-Glazed Scallop Rosace on Brussels Sprout “Salad”
2012 Crosby Roamann Carneros Chardonnay

Peppered Petaluma Magret of Duck, Trio of Rhubarb, Feta & Mint
2011 Crosby Roamann Oak Knoll Merlot

Loin of Sonoma Lamb en Sous Vide, Picholine Olive Soufflé,
Rutabaga Froth & Lamb Essence
2011 Crosby Roamann “Reserve” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

“Red, White & Blue”
Cashel Blue Cheese, Red Pepper Coulis & White Chocolate Veloute
2009 Crosby Roamann Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Bali Vanilla Bean Parfait with Sonoma Strawberries
& Chevre Ice Cream

This nine course wine dinner is $140 per person, and is limited to 12 seats. Reserve your seats here.

Bon appetit!

Everything is Everything

Dear friends,

The sun hangs over Sacramento like a paper lantern. We are holding hands, careening down a little two-lane road in the Volvo station-wagon that originally brought us west. Later, we will learn the road is named, officiously enough, Country Road 31. Every crevice is a bombshell . . . The car has no shocks, and for the last two years we have been weighing the question of whether to invest more money or just continue to bounce our way through life.

We bought the Volvo used shortly after our children were born. We did not know it then – it was not so very long ago – but one day in the not too distant future we would leave our jobs, pack the Volvo, and drive to California to start a new life. The truth is that if we had known it then, we might have bought a different car, but that if we had to do it all over again we wouldn’t do it any other way.

We are driving home from the airport, and we have two cases of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir in the rear. At that moment, the Suisun Valley is as good a place as any to lose ourselves in the sunset over the Vaca Mountains, and it is as good enough a time and place to admit — if only to ourselves — that we did not have anything to say last year. We did not have the energy. We did not have the stamina or the courage. We did not have the facility. We did not have the strength.

We started writing to you weeks ago from New Orleans. Sean was touring the city for the first time with our distributor, and reading Jorge Louis Borges and making frantic — “inspired” — scribbled notes on hotel napkins and restaurant receipts, in the margins of old books and discarded airline tickets. Translation was an issue. We continued writing from Portland, Oregon two weeks ago and then found ourselves sidetracked in the foothills of Willamette Valley drinking gorgeous wines with new friends and old acquaintances.  These things happen. We have been writing for months, but what we wanted to say now feels like it’s been lost in a whirlwind of time, like we have been drifting in the wind, swiftly, gladly, afraid to break the spell, afraid to even speak each other’s names.

And now we want to say something.

We want to say that life often swells up around you like a wave and before you know it you are drifting aimlessly in the sea. We want to say that if you lie on the beach and listen to the gulls calling and the sounds of the waves crashing you can hear the voices of your children laughing from miles away. We want to say that the scent of the summer lavender is mesmerizing; the scent of the winter rains, intoxicating.  We want to say that to experience these moments, quietly and alone, is to experience an “Infinite greatness of Place.” Leviathan, IV.46.

On a billboard near the crossing of the Willamette River in downtown Portland is written, in garish white spray-painted letters nothing less than 10-feet tall, “Everything is everything.” Like a lot of the street art in Portland it’s easy to dismiss, but it has drawn our attention to it over and over, which brings us back to Borges:

“Tennyson said that if we could but understand
a single flower we might know who we are and
what the world is. Perhaps he was trying to say that
there is nothing, however humble, that does not imply
the history of the world and its infinite concatenation of
causes and effects. Perhaps he was trying to say that
the visible world can be seen entire in every image,
just as Schopenhauer tells us that the Will expresses
itself entire in every man and woman. The Kabbalists
believed that man is a microcosm, a symbolic mirror of the
universe; if one were to believe Tennyson, everything
would be – everything . . . . ”

— Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph and Other Stories, trans. Andrew Hurley (New York: Penguin Books, 1998), 87.

Part 2: Handmade Wines/the WAREHOUSE

A number of matters conspired within the short parameters of nine months to hurl us into the vinous unknown. Last April or May (time has become a maze) we purchased a warehouse in the industrial park south of the City of Napa. At the same time, due to forces completely beyond our control, we were forced out of the winery in which we had been operating for three years. Shortly thereafter we experienced a death in the family, an earthquake, a burglary, and a flood. The warehouse renovation stalled helplessly at the building department.

We moved our wines and winemaking for 2014 to a small location called Punk Dog Wines, just next door to our warehouse, as our renovation continued. We’ve now reached the final phase of renovation, pictured above (the application for the winery — our first solo operation — is now with the City of Napa) and we will begin pouring our current releases in the tasting salon at the warehouse shortly. These miniscule, handcrafted lots are exceptional. They are robust, full, velvety, and chocolicious. They are demanding, inquisitive, talented, and searching. They are unique. Some highlights . . .

2012 Chardonnay, Carneros, Napa Valley — from Adastra Vineyard, a CCOF certified organic vineyard in Carneros — whole cluster pressed and fermented in French and American oak barrels, 20% new, for 20 months. Super rich, ripe, and fleshy with notes of honeydew, melon, and pineapple.

2011 Cabernet Sauvingon, Napa Valley – from Wehr-Wagner vineyard, a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon from a CCOF certified organic vineyard at the northern edge of the Rutherford appellation and 9% Merlot from the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, fermented and aged in 80% new French oak barrels for 20 months. Elegant and refined with soft fore-tannins and dried floral notes, semi-sweet raspberries, confectioner’s sugar, and a touch of briar.

Part 3:  EVENTS

Our commitment for 2015 is to reconnect with you, our extended family of friends. We have been busy planning some amazing events. This week Sean will be presenting our wines at the Wilmington Country Club (SOLD OUT). Friday, February 27th Sean will be presenting at the deliciously hip 701 Restaurant on Capitol Hill.  A five-course meal, paired with our wines (SOLD OUT).

We will be in New York the first week of April. Thursday, April 2nd we will be presenting our wines at a dinner at the Lotos Club in New York City (Members only). We are also tinkering with the idea of a follow-up dinner Friday, April 3, for 12-guests. If you would like to attend the April 3 dinner, please contact Juliana for details.

Back in California, stay tuned for details regarding a pop-up 7-course wine dinner April 7.


Juliana & Sean

Enjoy a little Crosby Roamance …

This Valentine’s Day, why not enjoy a little Crosby Roamance?

It sounds a little cheesy.  Maybe it makes you smile.  One of our 7-year-old daughters came up with this new tagline for us, and of course, we thought it was brilliant, that they are brilliant.  That’s just one kind of love for you. 

But why not embrace the holiday in all its glory?  Whether you’re dining out, or dining in, or planning a romantic get-away, we’ll make it easy for you to include the wine. 

Our newest release is our deliciously pink 2013 Rosé de Saignée.  Made from 100% Oak Knoll District Merlot, in the traditional “saignee” method, fermented in a gently-used American oak barrel, with élevage in stainless steel.  The wine is crisp, floral, and dry, and pairs perfectly with almost anything.  We only produced one barrel of this wine and are offering it with shipping included at $20/bottle.

If Rose is not your thing, we are also offering a special two-bottle package of our 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon in Valentine’s Day PINK gift-wrapping as a part of the CrosbyRoamance special. The 2009 Dark Garden Cabernet Sauvignon is ultra-lush and ripe with notes of cassis, vanilla, blackberry and light spice. Only 3 cases remain … offered at $60/bottle, shipping included.

Members of the Inner Circle can add additional bottles to their January shipment: 2013 Rosé de Saignée for $10/bottle, and 2009 Dark Garden Cabernet Sauvignon for $50/bottle. Please email us at Juliana@crosbyroamann.com to arrange your order.

We hope you have a beautiful Valentine’s day, celebrating Love, in all its many forms. 



The Crosby Roamance Selection: LOVE Two Bottles 2013 Rosé de Saignée Napa Valley 750ml




2009 Dark Garden Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 750ml

Juliana & Sean

Happy Holidays

Dear Friends,

Winter is approaching Napa Valley, which is always a reflective time of year. The ground is soggy with the first storms, and the leaves that have not fallen yet are brilliant red and gold. The light is gone by five, and we can often smell wood smoke in the air from our neighbors’ houses. When the sky clears in the morning light you can see clear across the valley floor to the Mayacamas Mountains. The light from San Pablo Bay flickers in the south, and then there is the silence.

From Beryl Markham we learn, “There are all kinds of silence and each of them means a different thing.” Not only the midnight silence of the vineyards and the little towns of St. Helena and Yountville, but the silence of a cold sun. The silence of an empty road. The silence of men and women working in the field, broken occasionally by feral cries. The kind of “silence that can emanate from a lifeless object.” The silence of wine, a “soundless echo” of the people and place from which it emerged.

And so another year quietly comes to a close, and in the sacred places of our homes we gather with friends and family, and in this brief spell we raise our glasses to years passed and the year to come.  We wish you and your families the most joyous of holidays.

There is still time to place an order for Christmas delivery: with shipping in California, please place your order by Saturday the 20th; all other states, by end of day Thursday, December 18th.

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