How do you make a small fortune in the wine business? Start with a large one!
This joke has circled the wine industry for decades. However, in the case of Arrow&Branch Winery it is literally all about money. You see Steve Contursi is a world renowned numismatist, having bought and sold more than $2 billion worth of US rare coins. He made international headlines in 2004 when he unveiled a true national treasure. The Neil/Carter 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar is believed by experts to be the first ever silver dollar struck by the US, representing a moment of profound economic independence. The coin was on loan to the ANA Money Museum in Colorado by Contursi from 2004 to 2010. In 2010, Contursi sold the coin for $7.85 million, the highest price ever paid for a single coin. But the buck does not stop there…
The name Arrow&Branch pays homage to Contursi’s life long profession. Grab a coin out of your pocket and flip it over. Notice the eagle holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons? The olive branch speaks to the US as a nation of peace, juxtaposed with the arrows signifying we are a nation capable of protecting ourselves when necessary. Arrow&Branch represents Steve and Seanne Contursi’s love for our nation as much as their love for wine.
Steve and Seanne Contursi hold a special love for Bordeaux! In particular they hold Cabernet Franc driven Bordeaux such as Chateau Cheval Blanc in the highest esteem. So in 2007, when they decided they wanted to use some of their fortune on buying a winery they had two criteria: 1) to be in the premiere wine region of Napa Valley; 2) to have organically farmed estate vineyards that would craft beautiful Cabernet Franc as well as access to additional vineyards of exceptional quality to round out their portfolio. To our benefit their dream has come true!
I was sent four media samples of Arrow&Branch wines. After tasting these wines I felt like I had won the jackpot! Up front I will say each of these wines are elegant, sophisticated, beautifully balanced, well-structured and dazzling wines crafted by Jennifer Williams. She is seen as a “rising star” winemaker; I would argue that her star is already risen, the world just needs to take notice!
2015 Arrow&Branch Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, USA: opens with a bright nose of grape fruit, stone fruit, a dazzling hint of wet rock, and soft spice notes indicative of the small percentage that spent some time in French oak; the palate offered racy minerality, wrapping my mouth in mouth-watering acidity, fresh and clean with a long, vibrant finish; SRP $35
2013 Arrow&Branch Cabernet Sauvignon “Black Label,” Napa Valley, USA: Crafted of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot from grapes cultivated in St. Helena and Napa; ripe and juicy nose of black cherry, plums, black raspberries, and pomegranate sing harmoniously with notes of licorice, chocolate, black tea, dried violets, and graphite; wildly complex nose with an equally complex palate, lush mouth-feel of silk, refined and textural, beautifully balanced with deliberate but not over-powering tannins and round acidity; hard to imagine this wine is only going to get better with proper cellaring; SRP $100
2013 Arrow&Branch Red Wine, Napa Valley, USA: Crafted from 59% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot from grapes cultivated in Coombsville & Atlas Peak; on the nose this wine is beautifully balanced between fruit notes of black cherry, black berries, plums, and cranberries, with warm earth notes of licorice, savory herbal notes, worn cedar cigar box, and flirt of vanilla; those aromas follow through in a palate that has depth, texture, and complexity; this wine delivers on every level, rich mouth-feel yet balanced tannins and acidity, creating a long, finish and pleasing mouth-feel; SRP $125
2012 Arrow&Branch Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, USA: Crafted of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from grapes cultivated in St. Helena; a strikingly seductive wine from the first smell, fruit notes of cherry, blackberries, blueberries, and plums are wrapped in warm earth notes of spice, dried savory herbs, soft floral notes, tobacco, and my favorite quintessential Rutherford dust; it moves across the palate like a sultry tango with fruit and earth notes interwoven into each other, a wine this good is meant to be aged and shared; how can so much complexity and refinement come from one grape and one vineyard; (rhetorical of course because it’s Beckstoffer); elegantly balanced, perfectly structured, time will only magnify its beauty; if you can splurge, do so…immediately; SRP $175
My Song Selection: These wines are sophisticated and elegant but they are also approachable, fun to drink. I selected this song because Count Basie is a genius, sophisticated, but also fun. He makes it look so easy you forget it’s amazing, like Arrow&Branch wines.
Get your own bottle of Arrow&Branch wine and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!