Serendipity: The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
The serendipitous meeting between Pam Starr and Charlie Crocker has led to a unique partnership as well as the resurrection of the historical Crocker Vineyard Estate in Napa Valley, resulting in the production of world class wines. The meeting may have been by chance but the result has been happy for both Pam and Charlie and highly beneficial for the wine lovers of the world.
Beginning in 1997, Pam and Charlie are equal partners and co-owners of Crocker and Starr Winery. For almost 20 years Crocker and Starr has been producing handcrafted, small production world-class wines from their sustainable vineyard estate in St. Helena. They cultivate new world fruit using traditional sustainable and organic farming practices with modern cutting-edge winemaking tools for a marriage of old world and new world in every bottle.
“Grapes express where they are grown and for me soil is everything. I work the soil so it will express itself in the wine when blended. In this way I design the wine to capture the essence of our estate terroir. As a result we create complex, balanced, elegant wines that express the aromatic profile of the Crocker Vineyard.” ~ Pam Starr
I had the pleasure of recently participating in a Crocker and Starr virtual tasting hosted by Charles Communications. It was a wonderful tasting where the participants were blessed to taste four of Crocker and Starr’s new releases. In fact, in the case of the stellar 2014 Stone Place Cabernet Sauvignon, that wine will not be released until September. It was a thrill tasting through these wines with Pam Starr. She is a highly intelligent woman with a great sense of humor. I think the consensus of the tasting was we could all have listened to her talk for hours. Here are my notes on the wines we tasted:
2015 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley USA ($34): Crafted of 100% Sauvignon Blanc from grapes grown 87% Saint Helena and 13% Oak Knoll; clear medium lemon with green hues; clean pronounced aromas of grapefruit, gooseberry, mango, lemon zest, grass, white pepper, and vanilla; dry, high acidity, medium+ alcohol, full-body, pronounced flavors, silky texture, mouth-coating; treatment of cement egg, stainless steel, and oak adds a depth of texture, body, and finish to this wine making it more full-body and creamy than the typical Sauvignon Blanc yet with the same crisp and refreshing flavor profile. Overall a unique, expressive, and wonderful Sauvignon Blanc.
2014 Crocker & Starr Casali 7 Napa Valley USA ($80): Crafted of 92% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Petit Verdot; clear deep purple in the glass; clean pronounced aromas of candied violets, red currant, blackberry, black cherry, cranberry, eucalyptus, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, wet leaves, tobacco, and vanilla; dry; medium acidy, high grippy tannins, high alcohol, medium+ body and finish; a full body red wine with layers of flavor and complex texture that is bold and juicy. A big, bold wine that really delivers.
2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc Napa Valley USA ($80): Crafted of 100% Cabernet Franc; clear deep ruby in the glass; clean pronounced aromas of slightly stewed red fruit including cherries, currant, plum and blackberries, medicinal, wet tobacco, chocolate, black pepper, cloves, and vanilla; dry medium acid, medium+ grippy tannins, high alcohol, full-body, long finish; a bold red wine with balanced notes of fruit and earthiness, will benefit from a few years of aging to tame the tannins but well-structured wine with loads of flavor now, in five years it will blow your mind. I had a hard time putting this one down, delicious!
2014 Crocker & Starr Stone Place Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA ($120): clear deep ruby; clean pronounced aromas of stewed fruit including cherries, blackberries, plums, cranberries, currants, and black raspberries, fresh rose petals, blackcurrant leaf, mint, fennel, black olive, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, licorice, forest floor, tobacco, and vanilla; dry, medium acid, medium+ tannins, high alcohol, full body, pronounced flavors, long finish; the tannins are still a bit drying but will continue to integrate with time, a beautifully crafted full-body wine that is elegant yet firm with layers of flavors and textures that will be a true dazzler in a few years. Released September 2017. It is evident even in its youth this wine is beautifully crafted, decadent and luxurious.
Don’t be dis-swayed by the depth of these wines. Although the reds would only further dazzle with proper cellaring, with a good decant you can enjoy these wines just as well now. And the Sauvignon Blanc is a show-stopper, or conversation starter wine. I would LOVE to have more for this spring and summer enjoyment. You can order all of these wines direct by clicking here.
My Song Selection: This song is seriously such a perfect pairing with these wines. It is smooth jazz, with a vein of funk flowing through. I love Nathan East and I hope you will too. Cheers to Crocker and Starr.
Get your own bottles of Crocker and Starr wines and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!