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Today's Wine:

2012 Balverne Estate Red

2012 Balverne Estate Red Chalk Hill AVA, Sonoma County

2012 Balverne Estate Red Buy it for a friend!
$ 24 99
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Today's Wine Comments:

Flowers' Vineyard | 94pt Bordeaux Homage

Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon 19% Merlot 5% Malbec

The indomitable spirit of Chalk Hill Cab stands front and center in Balverne’s Estate Red. It is this stage presence that warrants one helluva chorus line. Merlot, Malbec, and French Oak entwine their presence for a full show of this estate single vineyard stunner.

Why we love it:

  • Over the years, Bob Stein’s quiet power in the wine world grew into a tour de force. The 250 acres at his Windsor Oaks Vineyard supplied fruit to Flowers, Merry Edwards, Sojourn, and Anthill. It’s only fitting that his legacy-level fruit also stands behind the red-tailed hawk of his Balverne Estate Red.
  • Sonoma’s Chalk Hill ranges over volcanic soils at 1,000 feet to gently rolling river gravels at 200 feet of elevation. Warm, sunny days are punctuated by the cooling coastal fogs which cascade over the terrain around sunset and lift in the morning sun. It’s rugged, pure, and perfect for the slow development of complex flavors in the Balverne Estate vines.
  • Behind every great wine is a brilliant mind. The winemaking team behind Balverne’s Estate Red endure blending trials each vintage. And it is an endurance challenge. Block by block, grape by grape, every aspect of the fruit scrutinized until the ideal marriage of power, elegance, and flavor is found. Thus, this classic claret blend is born. You’ll find no truer presentation of terroir, vintage, and excellence in winemaking.

Fun Fact: The 2012 growing season has a reputation. A good one. But for all the roar of its fiery youth, this is the sort of vintage that ages to glorious perfection over time.

Cabernet predominates in this particular Claret, but the Merlot is the silent partner that accentuates the cassis and currant fruit of the Cab and combines with its bigger tannins to silken the mouth feel. A small amount of Malbec adds soft black fruit like blueberry and plum. Both Merlot and Malbec bring midpalate richness and, with carefully chosen French oak, promote a long and complex finish.

We are very proud to be re-introducing the Balverne name to the wine loving public. Our 710 acre estate, now known as Windsor Oaks, is located just south of Healdsburg in Sonoma County California. The property was part of the Rancho Sotoyome land grant of 1841 and was later acquired by Antonio Perelli-Minetti, who was the first to plant grapes on the property. In the 1920’s the estate was used as a summer residence; extensive stonework from the gardens can still be seen on the property. The estate was purchased in 1972, replanted to grapes and winemaking was begun under the name Balverne. Balverne was a well known wine brand throughout the 1980s, when it was poured at the White House and served in the finest restaurants across the country. The wines were made by two young Davis graduates, class of ’78, Doug Nalle and John Kongsgaard, both of whom have gone on to become highly regarded winemakers at their own wineries.

In 1992 the property was purchased by its current owner Bob Stein, who renamed the property Windsor Oaks Vineyards. The property was successfully managed as a vineyard, selling fruit to over 35 highly regarded wineries throughout the state. Winemaking resumed on the property in 2005 under the Windsor Oaks name and in 2012, Bob and his wife Renee made the decision to honor the legacy of their beloved property by re-introducing the Balverne name.

Our wines are produced by Margaret Davenport, who is well known for her many years at Clos du Bois winery. Our inaugural Pinot Noir, vintage 2010, was produced by the original winemaker for Windsor Oaks, Julie Lumgair. We are also very fortunate to have Balverne’s first winemaker, Doug Nalle, consulting on the wines, bringing his years of experience back to the property where he began his career.

Great combined with all kind of grilled meats, games and cheeses.

Wine Ratings

94 Insider Points

Very Good - Wine Enthusiast

Wine Reviews

The Red Hawk is Calling My Name. I'll admit, something about that majestic raptor really makes me swoon. So when I was presented with the Balverne Estate Red, I paid close attention, and boy did it deliver. At 5 years of age, this wine is showing beautifully, and could even lay down a couple years if you're so inclined. A blueberry & raspberry bouquet excites the nose. Full-bodied with a mellow acidity, I taste an interesting mix of red currant, black cherry and cranberry. On the finish emerges creamy dried figs. This wine's gonna fly. 94 Points - JZ September '17

"There's a high-tone brightness of cassis and plum in this juicy, estate wine. A fruity character balances well against savory leather and black pepper that ride a thick wave of tannin." - Wine Enthusiast

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