Cameron Hughes
SMall-batch beauty
Lot 437 Napa Valley White Meritage
Dear Friends,

A perfect marriage – the wine, that is.

I’ll be honest with you, the team hates bottling 300 case runs. When it comes to bottling high-end wine, it’s just as much work for 300 cases as it is 3,000 – maybe even more so, as moving small volumes requires specialized transport and care to keep the wine from getting oxidized. Then there are the bottling changeovers, small run printing fees... Basically, all I hear is complaining any time I show any interest in a run of this size. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sympathetic, but every now and then a wine comes down the pike that I just have to grab and run with – today’s release (drum roll please) is that wine.
I imagine you’ll be surprised to know this is a white wine, and a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend at that. However, how many California white blends do you know are modeled after the legendary Haut Brion Blanc from Bordeaux? How many are barrel aged for 10 months in 50% new French oak and can cellar for 10-15 years? Needless to say, this beautiful wine was worth annoying the team over.

Lot 437 2012 Napa Valley White Meritage is a blend of 57% Sauvignon Blanc and 43% Semillon. The Sauvignon Blanc is fermented in stainless and partially aged (sur lie) in neutral white barrels, and the Semillon is barrel fermented and aged sur lie in French oak barrels specifically created for this particular cuvée. The creator of this fabulous wine is a long-time friend and has overseen this vineyard for 20 years now. The 1993 vintage continues to amaze to this day. The 2012 blend we bottled is the same blend they bottled.

Lot 437 is drinkable now (in fact, I’ll be pouring it at a wine dinner tonight) and quite enjoyable, but it’s a bit of infanticide. I would seriously consider laying some of this down and drinking it over the next decade but, knowing this crowd, it will probably be gone by the holidays…

White flower, honey-poached pear, and crisp citrus/mineral aromas are immediate on the nose, but with a few minutes of air you get a beautiful apricot liqueur. A perfect marriage of Sauvignon’s briskness and Semillon’s richness. On the palate the Lot 437 is beautifully proportioned, with zesty tangerine counterbalanced with ripe apricot, quince, and the “beeswax” Semillon is famous for (it’s a rich acidity that also gives the wine its longevity). The finish is a long and persistent blend of citrus and apricot essence.

Now, is this wine Haut Brion Blanc? No, but it’s a damn fine approximation and a hell of a better value at $15 than the $1000/bottle they charge. One of my more outlandish claims, I’m sure, but one worth savoring.

As a New Release special offer, go ahead and take 15% off any purchase of one case or more through Tuesday night at midnight (Wine Club members get 20% off) as long as the order includes one bottle of Lot 437 (mix and match the whole store!).

As always, if you have any questions or need assistance with your order, please don't hesitate to email us or call 800-805-1971.
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*Free shipping on 24 bottles or more. Must order in increments of 6 (24, 30, 36..)
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