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
Grape / Blend
98% Zinfandel, 2% Petite Sirah
Appellation: Rockpile, Sonoma County
Vineyard: Madrone Spring Vineyard
Winemaker's Tasting Note
This optimal site provides gorgeous juicy, rich, high elevation hillside fruit and the resultin wines boast defined cherry, blueberry, and plum skin character, with assertive cracked pepper and spice. Beekeeper crafts wines that reward time in the cellar and showcase both our high standards and high quality fruit designations. Clay Mauritson and Emma Kudritzki Hall provide day to day winemaking and give lan Blackburn (aka "chef*) with spectacular wine to blend and study. Unlike other Zinfandel producers, our goal is to showcase a vineyard's site and Beekeeper style. Our strict grape selection minimizes the jammy character that often masks the qualities of a top vineyard site. Our high-tier aging and blending (Petite Sirah and press fractions) allows us to find the wine's inner "Beekeeper" balance. We use specially chosen French Oak barrels (100% French/15 months/20-25% new) that add refinement, texture, and nuance that integrate seamlessly by year two. Drink now, or let the wine improve for several years in the cellar and enjoy it until 2028. As usual, the virtue of patience is rewarded with properly aged Beekeeper wines. We also recommend drinking our wines Just north of cellar temperature, cooler than most around 60 deprees.
93 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
From a site in Sonoma County sitting at 1,500 feet in elevation, the 2018 Zinfandel
Montecillo Vineyard (which includes 2% Petite Sirah) sports a ruby hue as well as a sweet nose of red plums, sandalwood, flowery incense, ripe cherries, and herbes de Provence. It's medium-bodied on the palate, with a balanced, elegant mouthfeel, supple tannins, and a great finish. This complex, nuanced Zinfandel has loads of character and should have 8-10 years of overall longevity.
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.
Product size: 750ml