Super Early Bird Ends
December 10, 2020
April 23, 2021
2021 Judging Date
May 16, 2021
(Header image credit: Wallis Estate)
In 1975, Edward Wallis fell in love with the 85-acre property in Calistoga on Diamond Mountain Road. The property came with an old stone castle built in 1906 by Jacques Pacheteau and a carriage house built in the late 1800s designed by W.H. Corlett. Both buildings recently made it into the registry of historic places for The United States. In 1997, they were pinched by the wine bug and planted the vineyard. Every detail was meticulously thought out and in turn, captured the interest of Napa Valley's top winemakers. Initially, they sold the fruit to David Ramey of Ramey Wine Cellar and then to Chris Carpenter of Lokoya Winery. After tasting the superb Cabernet Sauvignon Ramey and Lokoya were made from vineyard fruit, it was in 2006 when they decided to make wine for themselves and showcase the benefits of their hard work. They had an advantage of Ideal Location, Pedigree of Fruit, Meticulous Farming Practices, and a Rockstar Winemaker.
The Diamond Mountain District is a superior growing area in Napa Valley for Cabernet Sauvignon. This area had a myriad of soil types and exposures at a wide range of elevations. 13 acres of vineyards were planted in 8 distinct blocks. Extensive research went into the selection of varietal clones and rootstocks that perfectly match our soils and climate. This resulted in five different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon complemented by small plantings of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Thomas has earned his place as one of the most talented winemakers in the Napa Valley and maybe even on Planet Earth! Thomas was born in Sumter, South Carolina, and attended the University of Virginia. He moved to the Napa Valley soon after graduating and started his career working for Turley Wine Cellars in 1997. He is a winemaker, focusing on high-end Cabernet, for over a dozen wine brands including Schrader, Maybach, Revana, and Outpost. His wines have produced multiple perfect 100 point scores, notably "Old Sparky" by Schrader Cellars. Most impressively, Thomas R. Brown was awarded Winemaker of the Year in 2010 by Food & Wine and was the first American winemaker to earn 100 point scores from Wine Spectator. Wallis Family Estate currently has wines produced at Thomas' new winery venture at Mending Wall Winery in St. Helena.
Wallis Estate has won many awards for its delightful wines including the Sommeliers Choice Awards 2020. This time winning 2 Gold medals one for their 2017 Wallis Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with 95 points and second for their 2018 Wallis Family Estate Diamond Mountain District Cabernet with 92 points.
Wallis Family Estate 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District The Diamond Mountain District is one of the most coveted sites for cabernet in California. There is a reason for that, and it is in evidence here. This wine shows extraordinary depth and concentration, and is richly layered and complex, with aromas of blackberry, cassis, and spice. The balance is exquisite and the finish dazzling and long.
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