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.”
Grape / Blend
98% Zinfandel, 2% Petite Sirah
Appellation: Sonoma Valley AVA
Vineyard: Montecillo Vineyard
Winemaker's Tasting Note
34-year old vines at elevation, dry farmed, sustainably farmed.….. with one hell of a view. Just a half mile to the Napa Valley line, the fruit is different here. The blue (Blueberry, blackberry) compote with this beautiful delineation of fruit, spice, earth - this is technically inside of the Moon Mountain Appellation and really one of the best sights for Cabernet in the Sonoma Valley AVA. There are 4 acres of ZINFANDEL and we love this fruit.
96 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Zinfandel Montecillo Vineyard comes from a vineyard co-planted with a small percentage of Petite Sirah and offers thekaleidoscopic aromatics of the best Zinfandels and a great balance ofintensity and elegance. Medium ruby in color, it's bursting with purescents of baked rhubarb, apricot and peach, wafts of tar and exoticfloral and botanical nuances. Medium to full-bodied, its intense fruitsare foiled by juicy acidity and abundant, grainy tannins, and it has along, layered finish. 190 cases were made.
93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
This blends grape from Montecillo on Moon Mountain and Madrone Spring on Rockpile, weaving together an intense expression of high-elevation viticulture. Reductive on the nose, it offers inky layers of leather, espresso and blackberry within a full-bodied, sturdy and sophisticated core of structure and complexity.
Product size: 750ml