Vineyard 7 & 8 Cabernet Collection 3-Pack
 
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Wes Steffens and Luc Morlet Lunch and A Private Tasting 2100 Feet Up Spring Mountain Road

In Q1, the writing was already on the wall. After four consecutive short crop harvests, the Napa Valley inventory glut had turned into a glaring shortage. If we were to continue feeding members a steady diet of top-rated Cabernets from Napa's most prestigious addresses, we needed a new strategy. By April, we rolled this one out.

The winery dilemma was simple. Many had high fixed costs, and now there was simply too little production to feed the top line. As wholesalers continued to turn their backs on high prices, producers took matters into their own hands and went old school. From the high ground of Howell Mountain to the nosebleed slopes up Spring Mountain Road, the valley's greatest stars put all their efforts into direct-to-consumer ("DTC") marketing. Selectively, they opened their private tasting room doors to collectors, hoping to add well-heeled names to their mailing lists and wine clubs. That was our strategic opening.

Our leverage was in the size and quality of our membership. Handfuls of superstar Cabernet-makers -- while unwilling to do 'regular' daily offers -- were perfectly happy to open up their libraries to WineAccess, if we were willing to invite buyers to the winery's private tasting room for lunch and multi-vintage lineups. It didn't take us long to figure out why.

In the month following the first WineAccess Experience, a half dozen members enjoyed lunch and a tasting on the Silverado Trail with friends. Afterwards, those six groups purchased a total of $36,000 of library Cabernets from the host winery!

It wouldn't take long for that "DTC" success story to make its way to Cimarossa on Howell Mountain, into the inner sanctum of Phelps's Freestone -- and finally to the most priceless Cabernet Sauvignon address on Spring Mountain Road.

In 2007, Launny Steffens sent the Napa Valley rumor mill churning when word leaked out that he had lured the inimitable Luc Morlet to Vineyard 7 & 8. Morlet, fresh off a 6-year stint at the helm of Peter Michael, where he turned out a series of mind boggling "Les Pavots," wasted no time pouring Steffens's war chest into these breathtaking Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards set 2100 feet in elevation, high above the mountain fog line.

No one in the valley doubted the effect Morlet would have on Vineyard 7 & 8's Cabernets. Still, few could have imagined the speed with which the turnaround would take place. Fueled by the near perfect 2007 growing season, Morlet went on a three vintage tear, stunning Robert Parker with the massive blackberry concentration, velour-like texture, and supple, sneaky tannin underpinnings of these powerhouse Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignons.

Parker's reviews quickly drew collector attention to the Vineyard 7 & 8 Cabernet Sauvignon "7." Morlet's blockbuster 2007 was described as "cassis, charcoal, graphite, and sweet tannins in an exuberant, opulent style." In 2008, Parker raised the bar to 94 points, describing that ultra-concentrated, sleekly structured beauty as "deep, dark and brooding." Again in 2009, RP piled on, finally waking up wholesalers around the country -- just as GM Wes Steffens had set his sights squarely on "DTC." After hearing about the $36k payday down on Silverado Trail, young Steffens called WineAccess.

Of all the "Experiences" we've offered this year, this is surely the most exclusive. Wes has put together a Library 3-Vintage Collection consisting of one bottle each of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon "7." Buy one of the 120 samplers earmarked for WineAccess and you'll receive an invitation for a private lunch and tasting in the most breathtaking tasting room in Napa Valley, high above the fog line, 2100 feet up Spring Mountain Road.

If you're making a trip to the Bay Area any time in the next 24 months, this one's not to be missed.


Tasting Notes

2009 Vineyard 7 and 8 Cabernet Sauvignon "7" Spring Mountain District
"The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon 7 comes across as soft, sexy and opulent. Silky tannins frame a core of expressive fruit in this polished, understated wine. This is a relatively understated vintage for the 7. Flowers, spices and dark red fruit are layered into the deep finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019."
92 points -- Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2008 Vineyard 7 and 8 Cabernet Sauvignon "7" Spring Mountain District
"The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon 7 is a huge, dark brooding wine full of mountain tannin. It reveals fabulous intensity and raciness in its black fruit, smoke, incense, menthol, smoke and tar. The tannins remain quite muscular and tannic. This powerful wine needs a few more years in bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026."
94 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

2007 Vineyard 7 and 8 Cabernet Sauvignon "7" Spring Mountain District
"The opaque purple 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits cassis, charcoal, graphite, and sweet tannins in an exuberant, opulent style that would please both Joe the plumber and the connoisseur. It is deep, fleshy, and best drunk over the next 10-15 years."
91 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

*Important Shipping Information
    • Orders will begin shipping the week of December 10, 2012.
    • You will be provided with the exact shipment date during checkout.

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