Estate Wines Inspired by Charitable Giving
We are proud of our two single-vineyard, limited production Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon wines, appropriately named The Philanthropist and The Altruist. Their bottlings were inspired by the recipients of our Mark of Distinction charity. Each year, we award two $25,000 grants to individuals or groups across America committed to making a “Mark of Distinction” in their neighborhood, town or city.
Both wines are 100% Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls explains of the wines, “Both were made in very similar ways but each are indicative of the terroir that they represent.”
The Philanthropist is sourced from our Yountville estate, a property which has been vineyard land for over 140 years. The vineyards, located on a hillside benchland on a Southwestern facing alluvial fan of the Mayacamas range, is renown for producing exceptional Bordeaux varietals. Kimberlee adds, “The Yountville soils on our estate are thin and more ash-like over well-drained alluvial fans. The wine is very big and textural, extracted but still lots of jammy fruit.”
The Altruist, on the other hand, is sourced further north from our Calistoga Ranch, positioned at the base of Mt. St. Helena. Located in a canyon and surrounded by wild Bay Laurel trees, this site was difficult to plant due to rocky soils and lack of a consistent water source. Kimberlee says of The Altruist, “the more wilderness terroir of the Calistoga estate would lead one to believe that it would be the monster of the two but it is quite the opposite. The gravely soils actually accentuate the bay and anise flora and are reflective in the wine showing more floral, so while not delicate, The Altruist is probably the more feminine of the two bottlings."
Back By Popular Demand - Estate Merlot
After a short hiatus, what was once our Markham Reserve Merlot, a special blend from the best Merlot barrels in our cellar, has been transformed into a beautiful Markham Estate designate wine. Our Estate Merlot is made from small batch wines solely grown on our own Yountville estate. This vineyard has always produced wines of amazing depth, and we think it produces the best Merlot in Napa Valley. A small knoll at the heart of the property is where Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls sources Merlot for the estate blend. According to Kim, “Our Yountville property always produces a wine with an incredible cherry-vanilla core, which is only intensified as the wine ages gracefully in new French Oak barrels.”
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc have been growing in harmony on the property since Bruce Markham originally purchased and replanted the vineyard over 35 years ago. It seems only fitting to have them united as a tribute in this Estate Merlot. Kimberlee explains her blending: “The Cabernet Franc adds the floral violet aromas to the velvety texture of the Merlot, while the Cabernet Sauvignon is the powerful backbone that holds it all together.”