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.”
Dry Farmed, Sustainable
Aged: 15 months in in 100% French Oak (30% new)
Production: 1680 Bottles (140 cases)
Grape / Blend
80% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah
Appellation: Rockpile, Sonoma County
Vineyard: Madrone Spring Vineyard
Winemaker's Tasting Note
The purple colored, floral, & spicy 2012 maintain great balance inside a massive frame with an abundance of richness, aroma, texture, tannin and a Rockpile core of acidity. The nose ranges from purple crayon, red cherry “red hot” cinnamon candy, Asian plum, cracked black pepper, white pepper, root beer, dried herbs, dark spices, dried underbrush, heavy stone, and graphite. There is a “mean,” almost sinister streak of black fruit, black earth, and dark spices in this vintage. It has been an amazing wine to watch unwind and we delayed release for several months to allow it more time.
95 Points- 3 Puffs Connoisseurs’ Guide
Once again, Beekeeper has offered up a profound Zinfandel possessed of exceptional depth and very specific varietal personality. Its first focus on concentrated black fruits filled out by hints of ripe blueberries, roasted cream and a fleck of black pepper aromatics is paralleled by its wonderfully expressive flavors, and, yet, despite both size and intensity, there is nothing over the top about this wine. To be sure, it is not one for the faint of heart, but the rest of us are going to find its highly extracted character to be the right ticket for dishes like a garlic laden leg of lamb hot off the barbie.
2021 - About the current state of this wine
The 2012 is a beast... dense, dark, powerful, and we had a really insane crop of Petite Sirah in 2012. The Petite is currently showing lots of muscle, and its for this reason that I'm really excited about the lifespan of this wine... the Petite could carry this wine another 10 years or so... but drink it now and enjoy it... its an artful expression of Rockpile and the legend of 2012 will live long.
Product size: 750ml