Overview of the Wine
Beekeeper Cellars is the vision of best friends and co-winemakers Ian Blackburn and Clay Mauritson. The two collaborated after adventurous individual careers in the wine business, and at last, decided to work together on a project of their own.
Clay, a 7th generation grape grower, and his family found themselves the owners of a significant slice of the Rockpile Appellation, through an amazing set of historical land transactions. The Mauritson family realized the potential and parented the creation of the ROCKPILE AVA. In 1998, Ian and Clay climbed the hill and watched the Madrone Spring Vineyard get planted, while discussing the future of Rockpile and the dream it represented.
Beekeeper started with a simple vow: "craft beautiful vineyard expressions from premier vineyard sites, and reintroduce the quality wine audience to Zinfandel.” Today, we continue towards this goal. Our wines are crafted with all the attention to detail of an ultra premium Cabernet; premier vineyards, low yields, careful hand selection of fruit, artisan winemaking, quality focused, not quantity and the expensive use of time in quality French Oak barrels. Because of this meticulous approach and our mission, our wines are built to age. In fact, they require age. We strive to assure our audience that our Zinfandel is a worthy investment and that patience will be rewarded with additional cellarage. Ian, Clay, and day to day winemaker Emma Kudritzki Hall cannot be more excited about sharing their wines for years to come.
In the 1800s, you needed to have a noble profession gain entry into America, and Ian's great grandparents were entertainers “pre” Vaudeville, and that was NOT considered a noble profession…. quite the opposite! His family lived off the land and worked as beekeepers, hunters, farmers… and singing and dancing was part of their life. They took some liberties and said “we are beekeepers” as that was (and still is) a "noble profession." The family “bi-line” was established; “we come from a long line of beekeepers.”
Aged: 15 months in French and American Oak –lightly filtered at bottling.
Production: 1476 bottles (124 cases)
Grape / Blend
81% Zinfandel, 19% Petite Sirah
Appellation: Rockpile, Sonoma County
Vineyard: Madrone Spring Vineyard
Winemaker's Tasting Note
The 2009 vintage featured low yields and very high quality. Even ripening and small berry size provided inky color and great concentration. Beekeeper will be a full-bodied wine with dark fruit and significant tannins providing a long-aging potential. Currently, a mélange of dark black, blue and red fruits are evolving around the massive core and dense concentration. An extended cold soak and 20 days of extraction, coupled with careful tannin management produced rewarding results. Madrone Spring Petite Sirah was added to enhance complexity, balance and harmony. On release, the nose shows great potential and showcases black plum, chewy cherry skins, raspberry, and cassis fruits with hints of fresh ground pepper, Asian plum, vanilla custard, dark chocolate, & robust coffee. The long structured finish reminds you that continued cellaring can provide additional rewards.
2009 Beekeeper Zinfandel, Madrone Spring Vineyard, Rockpile, Sonoma County
(Top Ten 3 Puff wines of the year)
95 points - 3 Puffs Connoisseurs’ Guide:
There are more than a few Zinfandels that display impressive concentration and depth, but not many manage to combine power and polish quite the way that this stunning newcomer does. From its wonderfully rich, highly extracted aromas of
optimally ripened berries and fancy oak to its lengthy, like-minded flavors, it hits all the right varietal marks, yet it gives the impression that it has not begun to really show its stuff, and it could be another five years before it finds its fullest
voice. It may not be cheap, but it is one that collectors will not want to miss.
Reviewed: May 2012
Product size: 750ml