Uncorkings 5.21

News and notes from the world of wine.

Napa Valley’s Raymond Vineyards has teamed up with eight of the nation’s sommeliers—Andy Andresky (1776 Restaurant, Crystal Lake, Illinois), Josiah Baldivino (Michael Mina, San Francisco), Mark Bright (Saison, San Francisco), Russell Burkett (Nana Restaurant, Dallas), Mary Horn (Wine Trends, Cincinnati, Ohio), Jennifer Knowles (The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia), Philip Natale (Winewood, Grapevine, Texas) and Joseph Scalzo (Atlantic Grill, New York City)—to create a wine designed exclusively for Raymond Vineyard’s on premise partners. Using grapes sourced from Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties, the 2010 Sommelier Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is expected to sell for $10–$12 per glass.

Winemaker Jean Claude Berrouet has been appointed winemaking consultant at Twomey Cellars in Calistoga, California. Berrouet will work in tandem with Director of Winemaking Daniel Baron to produce Twomey’s Napa Valley Merlot. Berrouets résumé includes working for Établissements Jean Pierre Moueix as winemaker and technical director in 1964 where he was responsible for producing wines from Châteaux Magdelaine, Trotanoy and Pétrus.

With help from Buffalo Trace Distillery, more than $150,000 was raised for several charities across the United States, including The Humane Society, Big Brothers/ Big Sisters chapters and Wildlife Centers. Buffalo Trace bottled 174 handwritten, individually numbered bottles of single barrel whiskey named Millennium Barrel—the last Bourbon barrel of the 20th century, which was filled on December 31, 1999. The distillery offered all 174 bottles to nonprofit organizations to raise funds for the select charities.

California’s Jackson Family Wines is releasing a new Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, Champ de Rêves. Vinified in 2010, the wine is expected to retail for $40 per 750 ml bottle. Only 3,200 cases were produced.

On Tuesday, May 15, a 240 year old bottle of Vin Jaune was sold for $49,343 to an unnamed French buyer at the Geneva, Switzerland, outpost of Christie’s auction house. The 1774 bottle had been stored in a vaulted underground cellar for eight generations by the Vercel family, winemakers in Jura.

Foley Family Wines has acquired Napa Valley’s Sawyer Cellars. Included in the purchase is 40 acres of Rutherford vineyards, production facility and the tasting room located along Napa’s Highway 29. The deal did not include rights to the Sawyer brand.

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