Although I grew up running around the winery, hand-turning de-stemmers, and eating grapes off the vines in our backyard, I never thought I’d discover my own passion in making wine. My family has been in the business longer than I’ve been around, but it was only a handful of years ago that curiosity led me beyond the event horizon of this world. It began with the experience of learning the complexities of blending wine in 2008, and progressed steadily until I found myself working in the cellar, handling barrel fermentation throughout the harvest of 2012.
Made from the younger vines of Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory, The Mascot shares a unique glimpse into the evolution of our winegrowing estates
The Mascot began early on as an experiment, after talking the family and winemaking team into sparing a few barrels of wine - produced from our younger vines - to explore a blend of my own. In the first few years, before it had a label or a name, it was just a wine shared with friends and family. It wasn’t until the 2008 vintage, our first official release, that we had enough to share with new friends.
Vines that have all the pedigree of the land, and would one day be considered for the "grand vins" of our estates
This cabernet is a hedonistic blend of power and balance; expressive and approachable early in its life, with potential to evolve well into the future. Ready to drink upon release, it will age for decades given the opportunity.
An otherwise even growing season in 2014 was made memorable by an earthquake that struck the Napa Valley in the early-morning hours of August 24th. Dry conditions that normally prevail at that time of year were unexpectedly altered; the geologic event had shifted the water table to the extent that many seasonal streams began to flow once again. This unusual circumstance brought unaccustomed moisture from the depths and, with it, renewed energy to many of the soils throughout the valley. In the wake of this phenomenon, we noticed subtle changes to the younger vines of BOND, Harlan Estate, and Promontory, which grew more vibrant as harvest approached. The resulting wine reflects this vibrance in its lift and flow across the palate, with its quality ringing true to the pedigree of its parent sites. Red fruit and baking spice intermingle on the nose, while on entry, the wine is soft, gently accelerating as it reveals athletic structure and shape, culminating in transparency and poise.
Having endured two years of drought within the region, vines were no stranger to adversity by the time they saw the dry growing season of 2013. Adversity, however, often reveals strength; and in the case of The Mascot, pedigree. The younger vines of Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory bore well-formed clusters with small, dense berries. The juice was concentrated and finely balanced; skins thickened by wind yielded great structure and strength. Consequently, the final blend exhibits an athletic intensity that accelerates across the palate into a long-sustaining finish. Where the 2012 vintage is supple, plush, and expansive, 2013 is dense, deep, and complex—yet they share a vibrant core.
The growing season of 2012 was defined by ideal conditions - warm, gentle, and even - and the resulting wine reflects this benevolence. The nose is wrapped around a core of red fruit and subtle spice. Upon entry, a spherical density expands into lush, vibrant warmth. Continuing easily across the palate, finely textured tannins resolve into a lengthy finish. The 2012 is generous and welcoming in its youth, and for the patient it promises deeper layers as the years pass.
The 2011 growing season in the Napa Valley was one of cooler temperatures, contributing to a slow, deliberate ripening requiring both patience and faith. What emerged from the younger vines of Promontory, Harlan Estate, and BOND was a wine with great freshness, tension, and vibrance. Minerality resolves into wet slate, with elegant fruit defined by velvety tannins. Approachable and lively in its youth, the 2011 vintage will age far into the future.
2010 was one of the coolest years in recent memory, and one that provided a nurturing backdrop for these young rooted vines to express themselves. The growing season began late, with budbreak occurring in mid to late April. Extra diligence and care were required of the team at every stage during leafing, fruit thinning, and harvest. Nature was benevolent during the long, measured harvest, allowing our team to pick each lot as it ripened. Notes of graphite, cedar, and forest floor are ever-present on the nose. On entry the wine is brought into focus seamlessly through a fine lens of acidity, lending energy and freshness to power and structure. Soft yet supple tannins expand out horizontally on the palate, resolving into an extremely long finish.
2009 was a temperate year with spells of warmth but free of extremes. This lengthy growing season cooled as we approached to harvest, embracing morning fog and moderate temperature throughout the picking. The resulting wines have a higher degree of density and flesh than the previous year, with aromatics more in the vein of dark fruit, spice, and earth. With a more masculine tannin structure, the 2009 will age very well over the next twenty to twenty-five years.
In 2008 bud break began very early. There were initial threats of frost but our vineyards, situated on hillsides above the floor of the valley, were fortunately unaffected. The growing season was quite temperate until August when a few stretches of warmer days accelerated ripening, resulting in one of the earliest harvests to date. The wine in its youth is charming: juicy, with soft tannins and hints of spice. The nose is enveloped by ripe black cherries with hints of graphite and baked clay. On the palate the wine is lavish: acidity takes on a background role, while fruit carries the day within a structure of precocious tannin. This vintage of The Mascot is not remembered for density per se, but more for its harmony, proportion, and long, generous finish.
In late September, members will be notified and given access to our offering here on the site. Given the small amount of The Mascot produced, we will fulfill each request to the best of our ability.
If you submit your name and email address on the "Welcome" page we will follow up; it would be great to get to know you and answer any questions you may have about The Mascot.
In the spirit of a wine to be shared with family and friends around the dinner table, we aim to produce something that is ready to drink upon release, but has the potential to also evolve over the next few decades. We encourage people to open some bottles early on, and save a few as time goes on.
The engraving of "Prince" was commissioned over one-hundred years ago, by the president of the Farmers Deposit National Bank of Pittsburgh, for the bank's stock certificates. The dog, an english bull-terrier, lived at the bank (greeting customers and employees alike), and became a beloved symbol of their down-to-earth, loyal, and personal customer service values.
We currently do not have a tasting experience dedicated to The Mascot, but welcome your interest so we can notify you of events in your city.
Having tended our wine for years, we try to limit its time in uncontrolled environments. We ship 2day only in order to minimize potential damage via trucking and extended temperature fluctuation. We truly believe it is the best for you and your purchase.
After all requests are fulfilled by hand on a per-order basis, we then look for the best shipment schedule, which can vary based on weather and locale. We aim to begin shipping first orders by early by mid-November.