In the past few weeks harvest has gotten crazy! We began picking in August this year (see the blog post), and by today’s writing (September 13th), we have brought in Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir, Napa Valley Pinot Noir, Calistoga dry-farmed Merlot, and within the next 4 days we’ll be bringing in Pinot Noir from Filigreen Farm in Anderson Valley, and our favorite Chardonnay from the Loma Blanca Vineyard in Carneros. To say we’ve been busy wouldn’t really begin to explain….early morning picks, entire days de-stemming and racking into barrels or tanks, whole days hand-pressing in the basket press, twice-daily pump overs (on the Merlot), and daily lab work. And of course, tastings!
Gremlin Vineyard Pinot Noir was pressed by hand in two lots this week after spending 17 days in the concrete egg. We’re jazzed with how good this tastes already – it feels to us like a blend of our 2013 and 2014 Pinot Noirs … it has beautiful round fruit reminiscent of the 2013, but also a really welcome kick of acidity, like the 2014. It’s now going to rest in a selection of new and neutral French oak barrels for about a year. We also produced about 100 cases of some kick-ass Rosé from this vineyard for next summer, instead of our typical 25 or 30 cases.
Pressed the day it came in, the Sauvignon Blanc from Rutherford is tasting delicious already. We fermented it in some new and some used French and American oak barrels, and it’s been resting in a selection of 33% new and 64% neutral French oak since the completion of priumary. It will continue to mature for the next 8 months. Read more about that here.
Our Napa Valley Pinot Noir from the Kim Giles Vineyard came in on September 2nd, and after partially de-stemming the fruit, we racked to barrels for fermentation. The wine is now dry, and we’ll be pressing this tomorrow (!) If you’ve been in the winery recently, we’ve lifted the heads off these barrels for you to smell, or even punch down….the aromas are savory – rosemary, thyme, and gamey – intensely delicious.
And, our Calistoga dry-farmed Merlot…oh my goodness. While this one surprised us immensely with how quickly it ripened and developed on the vine, the way it’s tasting in tank….soft, velvety, smooth…just wow. It’ll stay in tank for another good month, before pressing.
Filigreen Farm’s biodymanic Pinot Noir comes in on Friday, and our Loma Blanc vineyard Carneros Chardonnay on Sunday, along with the dry-farmed Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon! For those picks we’ll have lots of friends and family to help and we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you in advance…
After that we’ll be waiting on two remaining Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards to come in, and of course lots of fermentations to watch and fret over. Thankfully temperatures have leveled off a bit from the blistering 3-digits we were seeing…it’ll give the grapes some more time to fully develop those mature and complete flavors we love in our signature wine.
We hope everyone’s autumn is starting out well. If you live in any of the areas affected by the natural disasters that mother nature has thrown our way, our hearts and thoughts are with you. We are raising our glasses to you and your spirits.
Member shipments will be going out by early October, so there’s still time to sign up if you’d like an early gift to yourself this year.
Juliana & Sean
There is a saying in France that when the growing season starts early, harvest will be late, and when it starts late, harvest will be early. This year here in Napa/Sonoma it has certainly come true! It is not yet September, and instead of taking the next two weeks to start to think about bringing fruit in and what kinds of wines we are going to make (should be shepherd them this way or that?) we’ve already brought in grapes from two vineyards, with a third coming in this Friday, September 1st.
It is the earliest harvest on record for us. It started on Saturday August 26th, with Pinot Noir from Gremlin Vineyard in Sonoma. This is our second year working with Steve and Laura Busch on Hyde Road and we’re very exicted to be building a long term program from this vineyard. The maturity and flavor of the grapes surprised us when we took our first sample in the middle of the month, so we pulled the trigger on picking as soon as we could. At 5am on Saturday our whole family was up and by 6 we were all warmly dressed in the vineyard — Audrey and Scarlett performing the difficult tasks of “Chief Grape Tester” — Sean picking leaves from bins and Juliana helping with harvest. By nine that night we had crushed the fruit into our concrete tank.
Today, August 30th our Sauvignon Blanc came in from Rutherford. After whole cluster pressing, the wine will ferment and age in one-third new wood, one-third used, and the rest in stainless steel … these magic proportions are how we fermented and aged our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, which tastes so amazing even now we are still pouring it in the tasting room to rave reviews.
We are in such a different place this year than last. After the winter rains and cool spring and lazy start to the growing season, the clusters of fruit coming in are heavier, rounder, with better acidity and balance — which is exactly what we were hoping for. While we may ultimately have slightly less concentration in these wines, we will have much better balance and complexity of flavor. It reminds us of wines we tasted from 2005 and 2007, and looks very similar to 2012 — our last big harvest after a wet winter.
The temperature is expected to rise in the next two weeks, with triple digits on thew way. This means it’s all going to be coming in faster than ever! The next vineyard up is Kim Giles Pinot Noir from the San Pablo Bay side of southern Napa Valley.
So much seems to be going on in the world, it’s hard to keep our eyes on the details sometimes, but keeping our elbows buried in the fermenting musts and delicious aromas of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc helps keep us grounded. Our hearts go out to everyone in Texas and Louisiana — we promise to hold on to some of this delicious wine for when you’re ready to toast to the new season. We’ll continue to update you on our progress with Merlot, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon as harvest rolls on. We are so excited about what we are doing this year — about the vineyards and growers we are working with — about the new tanks and toys we have in the winery — and some big changes at the winery that we will be telling you more about soon! Stop by anytime for a tour and tasting: to make an appointment, go here. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you might even get the chance to punch down some Pinot!
Juliana & Sean
Father’s Day Special — Manly Men Drink Merlot — 2012 Merlot, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, 750ml
Shipping and Father’s Day card included (specify what you want written in special notes). Order by June 10th to ensure delivery.
Friends: for the last nine months we’ve been secretly and quietly working on a new project with my brother Eric Arvai to help showcase who we are and what we do in a new way. I’m sure if you asked Eric, he would say it was like birthing a new baby. The time, the love, the attention that he and his partner Adriel Olmos put into this project was beyond normal work hours and done as a labor of love on evenings and weekends. The result is the first of a series of videos … which we’re delighted to share with you now.
This beautiful video is hours and hours of footage condensed into one short story that sort of came together without us meaning for it to do, as can happen sometimes when the camera starts rolling and the right questions are asked. We started at Harvest last year, we rolled through fermentations, bottlings, and special event tastings. What I think we’ve encompassed is the beauty, the heart, and the relational experience that wine brings to any table, but most especially to ours. Wine is truly alive, and we are meant to celebrate that.
The inspiration for this kind of documentary style footage comes from a series we love on Netflix called “Chef’s Table,” and we think Eric & Adriel have created something really special here that does for Crosby Roamann and wine, what that series did for food. We are so proud of this and so very happy to be able to finally share it with you. Please watch and share yourselves — And after you’ve seen the video, please read on below to find our “Manly Men Drink Merlot” campaign for Father’s Day, and some up-coming events at the winery!
Father’s Day is just around the corner on Sunday, June 18th. Together with two small family wineries in our own Crusher District of Napa Valley, we’re hosting a progressive tasting and meal, with food pairings created by a local Napa chef. It’s on Saturday June 17th, and there are only 12 seats available, with transportation provided between our three wineries. What a perfect start for Father’s Day- RSVP link and menu details here. Sign up while seats are still available.
And if you are still looking for a gift for Dad, we have a saying we’ve been tossing out, a little tongue in cheek….“Manly Men Drink Merlot”. It’s time we put that myth to bed that Merlot is in any way an inferior grape variety. After all, some of the most expensive and famous wines in the world are made from Merlot. We’re pretty excited about our 2012 Oak Knoll District Merlot, hailing from the Jaeger Family vineyard off Big Ranch Road, one of the most unheralded but decidedly most beautiful spots in the Napa Valley. This Merlot is rich, yet balanced by sweet blackberry flavors and a tart raspberry sweetness that lingers on the finish. It would make a really nice gift for that strong confident man in your life.
Juliana & Sean
I find myself returning to Anne Morrow Lindberg’s Gift from the Sea again and again, especially since I became a mother a little over nine years ago. Every time I dip into it, a chapter here or there, I’m startled with new revelations. What most resonates with me these days is the idea of balance, and how we always seem to be striving for it, elusive as it may feel at times.
The idea of balance is central not only to my personal sphere, but is also at the very core of Crosby Roamann’s raison d’etre. The whole idea behind our move to California was to create a work/life balance. The very heart of our winemaking style seeks to achieve a balance in each of the wines we create. A balance of ripeness and acidity, alcohol and tannin, striving to rest on that fulcrum of what’s been grown in these soils, in this climate, each year. It feels the same in parenting, as we try to balance a myriad of day to day and month to month factors.
But I digress. It’s easy to do when taking on the difficult task of talking about motherhood, to get effusive in talking about the very principle behind our winery.
This year for Mother’s day, I had an opportunity to collaborate with a very good friend who runs a pretty incredible non-profit in New York called Start Small, Think Big. I was looking for a gift that I myself would want to receive for Mother’s day; that I thought would be the perfect gift for all the amazing women who balance so much, in my own life. This dear friend introduced me to one of her clients, who owns a business called Home & Loft.
Our Mother’s Day gift includes a bottle of our deliciously balanced and sustainably produced 2013 Carneros Chardonnay, and a beautiful and truly handmade scarf from New York’s Home & Loft.
The Chardonnay comes from the south-facing hillside Fire Tree Vineyard, a gorgeous location overlooking San Pablo Bay, just north of Highway 121. The fruit was sorted once in the vineyard, and again at the winery for the choicest clusters. The wine was then fermented and aged in an assortment of new and neutral American, French, and Hungarian oak barrels for 20 months; only 120 cases were produced. The resulting wine is both tropical and fresh, with deliciously round lemon meringue notes and perfect acidity.
The scarf is a beautiful and truly handmade 100% cotton Turkish blue checkered scarf with hand-tied tassels from Home & Loft, a NYC-based woman-owned small business. The scarves were hand loomed and hand spun by a women’s foundation in the South of Turkey. The organization teaches women skills like this and gives them a salary and retirement benefits. Home & Loft is one of many small businesses that has received assistance from Start Small Think Big, a nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs, particularly women, start and grow successful small businesses.
Happy Mother’s Day Special (2013 Chardonnay + Home & Loft Scarf):
Order by May 6 to ensure delivery by May 12. $90, shipping included. Handwritten cards possible by request.
I’ll be tossing my beautiful scarf over my shoulder and raising my glass to you in recognition of your excellent taste, and in gratitude for all that you do. Your favorite matriarchs will be too.
Here in Northern California, the trees have started flowering and we’ve had more rain than we’ve seen in years. The sun is brilliant, the sky an eggshell blue and the Kelly-green rolling hills look filtered they’re so bright, especially against the mustard and wildflowers that grow between the vines. You guys, there are baby lambs….EVERYWHERE. A deep feeling of happiness sits in the base of my being, along with a lightness in my head, a giddiness in my limbs. While we are still technically in winter until March 21, it really truly feels like Spring.
We must celebrate. We must take advantage of everything there is on offer at our local markets to eat. We must take a few moments each day to feel the sun on our skin and let the warmth penetrate.
And because it’s Spring, we’re going to throw a dinner party in its honor. Here at the winery, with the amazing Sarah Pinkin. Thursday, March 23rd 5:30pm. Let us know if you want to join. It’s going to be a Spring-themed menu of course, paired with some old and new wines, and a few surprises, as always.
And of course we want to offer you a taste of Spring to have all on your very own. Just in case it rains (or snows) again and you want to remember that warmth on your skin. Or if you just need desperately for Spring to arrive ASAP. It’s Spring in a bottle.
This wine is not available in our store for sale, and will only be available here for a short time. It has been sort of a special wine that we’ve served in the tasting room, or to our members. And like most of our wines, we made less than a hundred cases of it. It tastes incredible….there is citrus, there is apricot, there is a minerality and acidity to hold it all up. It is Sauvignon Blanc from St. Helena, but a special fruit selection. The grapes were just a little bit riper, but not too sweet. After all, we’re not talking summer (yet).
2013 Reserve Blanc
The first time we made Pinot Noir in 2013 was on a dare. It turned out so well, we couldn’t resist the urge to make it again; it has since become something of an obsession. As in 2016 when we offered our Pinot Noir for the first time over Valentine’s Day, we are now releasing our 2014 just in time for that most lovable of holidays, which means that, once again, it’s time to add a little Crosby Roamance to your life.
This Valentine’s Day, receive two bottles of Pinot Noir, a two-chocolate truffle box from Kollar Chocolates, and a blank, handcrafted valentine for your special someone. Order by February 4. Shipping included. Valentine’s Day Special:
The 2014 Pinot Noir is a single vineyard wine from Carneros, on gently sloping hills in southern Napa Valley overlooking San Pablo Bay. Fermented on indigenous yeasts and aged twenty months in one-quarter new French oak barrels, the rest one and two years old. Light and elegant in structure, with tangy notes of orange blossoms, cloves, and brine. This wine is very tactile on the palate, earthy … the overall impression is of cranberry-lime and gingersnap cookies, with a surprisingly long and tactile finish. Four barrels produced, just 100 cases.
Members of the inner circle receive special pricing ($80.00) and can add their Valentine’s Day Special by contacting Juliana@crosbyroamann.com.
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
- Current price: $582/year
- 2017 price $657/year (base price $730)
- Tier Two – includes 24 bottles/year and receives a 15% discount
- Current price: $834/year
- 2017 price: $1241 (base price $1460)
- Tier Three – includes 36 bottles/year and receives a 20% discount
- Current price: $1530/year
- 2017 price: $1752 (base price $2190)
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 Pinot Noir
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
Happy Harvest and a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving to our friends and family.
With love from Napa Valley,
Juliana & Sean
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.
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