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.
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.
Members of the allocation will be notified and given access via email in early October 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 "Contact" 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 shared with family and friends around the dinner table, I wanted to produce something that was ready to drink upon release, but that would also evolve over the next few decades. We encourage people to open some bottles early on, and save a few as time goes on.
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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.
While we currently do not have a tasting experience dedicated to The Mascot, it's certainly on our "two-year" plan.
Having tended our vines for decades and the wine for years, we try to limit its time in uncontrolled environments. We ship 2-day 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. Our fulfillment team has negotiated the very best price; rest assured that all of our savings are passed along to our mailing list customers.
All of our requests are fulfilled by hand on a per-order basis. We then submit your final allocation to our shipping team, who ships the wine during the next optimal time window, which can vary based on weather and locale. We try to ship the wine by mid-November.