The Black Cordon Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon wines are produced from grapes grown in our four mountain vineyards. The wines are born from a "Barrel Selection" program...let me explain. Our grapes are harvested and fermented in small lots...not big tanks...and then aged in barrels for 2 years. During the barrel aging we keep each barrel separate from the others so that at the end of 2 years of aging the result is that each barrel has it's own distinct quality and character. We do this so that we can select from these barrels that each have their own personality when it comes time to decide what is going into each bottle. Julian and David do that selecting driven by taste alone and this allows us to each year bottle the best expression of our vineyards, and the vintage, that our skills will allow.
The "Napa Valley" Cabernet Sauvignon - is where barrels of wine from all of the vineyards come together to produce the best possible expression of mountain fruit from that vintage.
The "Vineyard Designate" Cabernet Sauvignon wines are where we personally select one or two of the very best barrels, that seem to shine above the rest, and bottle them by themselves. The name of the AVA where the vineyard is located goes on the label to let you know it is a barrel selected Vineyard Designate wine. It may come from Howell Mountain, Coombsville, Mount Veeder, or Atlas Peak...the locations of our four vineyards. It changes every vintage but if we produced one you know it was hand selected.
The "Reserve Cru" Cabernet Sauvignon is rarely produced. The standards for this wine are extremely high and as a result, even in great vintages, we might not find any one barrel that is that special. But when we do it is a treat worth waiting for.
The Sixteen by Twenty Cabernet Sauvignon is now produced from special blocks, or sections of vines, that we feel best give us wines that fit the 16x20 profile...black cherry, a bit more restraint, polished tannins and spicy, lively balanced fruit.
We produce two Chardonnays and a Pinot Noir. There is the Black Cordon Vineyards "Sonoma Coast" Chardonnay from a vineyard out towards the Pacific coast and the Sixteen by Twenty "Sonoma Coast" Chardonnay from a different vineyard that is even closer to the ocean. Ask any winemaker throughout the world who specializes in producing great Chardonnay and you'll usually find that they employee barrel fermentation to produce those beauties. Barrel fermentation is what allows us to produce Chardonnay wines that are bright and clear with clean fresh flavors of pear, melon, apricot, and citrus with a little bit of floral nuances and a hint of creme brulee. Chardonnay needs a little bit of French Oak...but just a little bit; less than 20% of the barrels we use for fermentation and aging are new so that we keep the Oak nuances in the background just for support. We also have a strong opinion that the best Chardonnay grapes are grown in regions that are relatively cold. That is why both of the Chardonnays we produce come from grapes grown in two separate vineyards out toward the Pacific coast in the AVA called the Sonoma Coast. For us the only style of Chardonnay that we like is Cold Climate Barrel Fermented Chardonnay and I think once you start to experience ours and all the other wonderful ones from other small producers making CCBFC you'll become a Chardonnay enthusiast too.
The one Pinot Noir wine that we produce is the Sixteen by Twenty "Sonoma Coast" Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is a grape that behaves just like Chardonnay...if you grow it in the right spot and produce it using small producer artisanal methods you will be rewarded with a wine that is far superior to the large production Pinot Noir that you are probably familiar with. Pinot Noir gives us the best wines, full of complexity and delicious nuances, when it is grown out towards the Pacific coast where the days are cool and gentle. Try some small producer, cold climate Pinot Noir like our Sixteen by Twenty Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and I believe you'll start to understand why Pinot Noir is often a winemakers favorite wine.