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: 17 months in 100% French Oak (25% new)
Production: 280 cases
Grape / Blend
85% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah
Appellation: Rockpile, Sonoma County
Vineyard: Madrone Spring Vineyard
Winemaker's Tasting Note
The resulting blend displays a highly spiced set of concentrated dried fruits, fresh cracked black pepper, patient pending "purple crayon” perfume, dried underbrush, and bitter sweet chocolate. Our step high altitude hillsides provide defined stoney minerality characteristics, and add to the complexed nose that will continue to evolve in the bottle. The ripe forward nature of 2015 is unique, and should allow 2015 to be accessible earlier but will reward considerable time in the cellar.
93 Points - Purely Domestic Wine Report
The nose is a Deeply Saturated meat and earth with cranberry, tapenade, raspberry and pepper. The palate entry is firm and savory meat, licorice and carbon with nectarine, blossom, raspberry and red apple. Drink 2019 - 2026.
96 Points and 3 Puffs - Connoisseurs Guide to Fine Wine
Sporting the density and muscular structure that we have come to expect in Beekeeper Zins, the latest Secret Stones offering is a fascinating, multi-faceted look at the variety that evokes an unmistakable sense of fruity depth and potency as well as yet-to- be-fully-revealed complexity. Its slowly expanding, dark berry aromas are laced with elements of soil and spice that are carried into its very solid, impressively concentrated, somewhat brooding young flavors, and, although presently slightly roughed up by its late-arriving tannins, it possesses such fruity stamina that there is simply no doubting that great things lie ahead. It belongs in the cellar for now and not at the table, and drinking it before it has had another four or five years of age would be doing it an unforgivable injustice.
93+ Points - Wine Advocate
The 2015 Zinfandel Rockpile Secret Stones is medium to deep garnet-purple in color and delivers dark fruited, earthy notions of blackberry compote, baked blueberries and plum preserves with nuances of charcoal, scorched earth and espresso. Full-bodied and built like a brick house in the mouth, it has a firm structure of chewy tannins and lively acid supporting the densely packed black fruit and earthy layers, finishing long and savory. 280 cases produced.
Product size: 750ml