Jackson Family Wines — On Top of the World, Part II
An Unrivaled, Premium Collection Of Wineries And Estate Vineyards
In Part I of this series, published in the January issue, I discussed the incredible Kendall-Jackson winery itself in Sonoma County, California, and the iconic Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay that has been the top-selling U.S. Chardonnay for 24 years running. To read Part I, visit fortbendlifestylesandhomes.com/jackson-family-wines-on-top-of-the-world-part-i/.
In this Part II, we’ll look at some of the “gems” that this family has put together over the years — an unrivaled family collection spread throughout the world.
One of the most memorable tastings I’ve attended in years, was in California on August 2, 2016. Of 13 wines tasted I highly recommend each. The wines were Galerie from Napa Valley and Knights Valley and La Jota and Cardinale from Napa Valley, as well as Lokoya from four separate locations.
The wines included:
Terracea Riesling Spring Mountain 2015, $30;
Naissance Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2015, $30;
Equitem Sauvignon Blanc Knights Valley 2015, $30;
Pleinair (“painting outdoors”) Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013, $50;
Latro (“the hunter”) Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley, $50;
La Jota Merlot Howell Mountain 2013, $85;
La Jota Cabernet Franc Howell Mountain 2013, $85;
La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2013, $85;
The iconic Cardinale Napa Valley 2013, 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, aged 19 months in 91% new French Oak, carried with it the great responsibility, according to world-class winemaker Chris Carpenter, to produce something almost perfect with the perfect grapes presented to him in 2013 from Mother Nature! He did! $250.
Ending this tasting were the wines of Lokoya — a wine in a class unto itself! It is a collection of four distinct Cabernet Sauvignons from four of Napa Valley’s most celebrated mountain appellations. All are 100% Cabernet, fermented with native yeasts, and bottled unfined and unfiltered, resulting in amazing expressions of place, and made by Chris Carpenter. Each of these limited wines is priced at $375, and all are available to those fortunate enough to be on the mailing list — as well as being ensconced in a select group of the finest restaurants:
Lokoya Diamond Mountain 2013 — — This wine has been made since 1995. Carpenter says, “…a lush, dark, mouthfilling ride of flavor across your palate.” Aged 19 months in 100% new French oak, only 340 cases produced.
Lokoya Spring Mountain 2013 —Carpenter says this wine shows the power and grace of the best of Spring Mountain. Intense, dark fruit flavors with noticeable texture and great aging potential. Only 419 cases.
Lokoya Howell Mountain 2013 —Carpenter compares this wine with the muscular, natural beauty and somewhat untamed thoroughbred horses that Jess Jackson loved. 678 cases.
Lokoya Mount Veeder 2013 —Carpenter relates this wine to “…the thunderous blue fruit of Veeder Peak and a visceral complexity of minerality, spice and texture to move your palate at 250 mph like Formula One racing in Monte Carlo!”
We move now to Stonestreet and Vérité in Sonoma County. Besides having a gorgeous winery with one of the best views in wine country, Stonestreet wines showcase the quality of high-elevation fruit grown on the Alexander Valley Mountain Estate which is home to the Jackson family. All wines mentioned are highly recommended.
Stonestreet Aurora Point Sauvignon Blanc 2014 — 100% barrel-fermented, a portion with native yeasts. Very complex. Profound! $45
Stonestreet Estate Chardonnay 2014 — 100% barrel-fermented with native yeasts, and subsequent malolactic fermentation also in the barrel. Beautiful kiss of oak and lovely fruit. $45
Stonestreet Upper Barn Chardonnay 2014 — All components in complete harmony. Unique, fascinating and delicious. $90
Stonestreet Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 — 98% Cabernet, 2% Merlot. Notes of bay leaf, graphite, blueberries and black currants. Lovely. $45
Stonestreet Rockfall Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 — Another excellent vintage with intense, harmonious flavors. Aged 20 months in 58% new French oak. A step up to something very special. $100
The Bordeaux-style blends of Vérité are a testament to the diverse terroir of Sonoma County. Since 1998, French Vigneron Pierre Seillan has crafted some of the world’s greatest red wines — in fact, I state here that Vérité and Lokoya rank near or at the top of the best 20 Bordeaux-style reds in the world! I have written about Vérité several times recently. It has three releases a year: one Left Bank look-alike (mostly Cabernet Sauvignon — think Chateau Margaux); one Right Bank look-alike (mostly Merlot — think Chateau Pétrus); and another Right Bank look-alike (mostly Cabernet Franc — think Chateau Cheval Blanc). They are named, in the order mentioned above, La Joie, La Muse and Le Dècir. Each $390. In one of the most astounding series of wine scores I have witnessed, a prominent writer scored the 2012 and 2013 trios 100, 97, 100, 100, 100 and 99!
As if that’s not enough to ponder for a while, Jackson Family also include the following, all winners: Maggy Hawk (Anderson Valley); La Crema (Willamette Valley, Anderson Valley, Sonoma Coast, Russian River, Los Carneros, Monterey and Arroyo Seco); Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard (Australia); Tenuta di Arceno (Tuscany) and Capensis — the most profound Chardonnay made today in South Africa!
A great and successful wine is often described as having depth, complexity, and persistence. These words aptly apply to the Jackson family, in their indefatigable campaign to produce the best wines in the world from some of the best vineyards in the world.
Jackson Family Wines