David Jeffrey's objective is to craft wines that combine Bordeaux's intrinsic intensity, balance and longevity with the approachability and plumpness found in the finest Napa and Sonoma wines. And this wine forcefully delivers on that promise. A deft blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the Calluna is a beautiful coalescence of Old and New World. Subtle notes of cedar, camphor and forest floor add an earthy quality to the primary aromas of black currant, red currant and Bing cherry. The concentrated and richly textured flavors include black currant, plum and cocoa.
Black currant, blackberry, pomegranate, dark chocolate, mocha and graphite.
The Chalk Hill appellation is located in a moderate, transitional climate between the cool Russian River region and the very warm Alexander and Napa valleys. The region's hillsides offer deep soils, excellent drainage and ideal exposures. But there is no "chalk" in these hills. Upon closer inspection, it was revealed that the soil's white color, for which the area was named, actually came from volcanic ash emitted by nearby Mount St. Helena. A longtime wine collector and aspiring winemaker, David Jeffrey had a dream: to acquire a vineyard site and produce world-class Bordeaux-style wines. With patience, hard work, the support of family and friends, and a little luck, the dream became a reality in 2004. After 20 years of thoughtful wine drinking, seven semesters of studying viticulture and enology, and an internship at Bordeaux's Château Quinault in Saint-Emilion, he snatched up a barren piece of land in the rolling hills east of Windsor. In 2005, following detailed soil testing and careful analysis of the property's topography, Jeffrey and his partners planted 10 acres of Bordeaux varietals.
It is no surprise that this young Cabernet-based blend offers unparalleled pleasure when matched with simply prepared red meat and game. The richness of the meat coats the palate and helps to tone down youthful tannins. Grilling is recommended as it adds a smoky, bitter component that complements the wine's spicy, toasty oak aspects. While mild and moderately rich cheeses--most notably Monterey Jack, Parmesan, and young Brie or Camembert--work well, strong, super ripe cheeses are best avoided. My recipe for Cowboy Steaks on the Grill will work beautifully with the Calluna. Rubbing gray salt into the steaks before grilling makes all the difference. The gray salt I use, from Brittany's coast, retains all the minerals found in the sea, echoing your body's mineral content exactly. Because of its taste, I use gray salt exclusively and cherish the natural flavors it highlights in all foods.
"To take wine into our mouths is to savor a droplet of the river of human history." ~ Clifton Fadiman