BALANCING THE WINEMAKER’S ART AND THIS JOURNEY

Life is a journey, not a destination. Experiences along the way contribute to and define our character. Like fine wine, we start out young and vibrant, then hopefully become refined and elegant with age. The essence of Experience wines is to capture the balance between a winemaker’s art and this journey.

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The People

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Our-PeopleExperience wine is the dream of Catherine and Travis Vale. Travis was born and raised in the Russian River Valley of California’s Sonoma Coast. He first worked a harvest in 1998, falling in love with the sights and sounds of a working winery. The daughter of a master brewer, Catherine was born and raised in London.

The two met in 2001 while both were traveling in New Zealand. Travis was furthering his education in the cooler climate growing regions of Marlborough. Catherine was finishing up a six-month tour of Southeast Asia and Australia. The tour bus they shared was aptly named Experience New Zealand.

“That chance meeting far from our homes was a turning point in our lives,” says Catherine.

Immediately drawn to each other, the two married in 2004 and made their home in the Napa Valley. Travis worked at a family-owned winery while Catherine accepted a position with drinks giant Diageo Chateau and Estates. In 2010 they struck out on their own journey of growing grapes and launching a new wine brand. Naming the fledgling wine Experience seemed a perfect fit.

Catherine and Travis have been blessed with three daughters. Their business is truly a family affair with everyone pitching in when needed. The family’s core belief is to enjoy the journey and not focus on the destination. Life is a series of incredible  opportunities to embrace, explore and experience. This is the essence of what makes Experience a special wine now and in the future.

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The Wines

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The 2015 vintage was of outstanding quality, albeit with smaller yields than recent vintages.  Warm temperatures in winter and spring resulted in an early bud break. A May cold spell led to an uneven fruit set.  This led to the much smaller crop. Perfect conditions through the remainder of spring and summer ensured full ripeness and intensity. Harvest was one of the earliest on record for Napa Valley and was in full swing by mid- August and finished by mid- October.

WINEMAKING:
We started the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon with a preliminary three-day cold soak, which extracts color and soft tannins, followed by eight days of fermentation, and a further 12 days of extended maceration. The wines were racked twice, first to barrel, then to bottle. Malolactic fermentation finished in barrel.

TASTING NOTES:
Classic Cabernet aromas of blackberry, black currant, cassis, and dried violets shine, with cocoa, toasted coconut, and baking spices in a supporting role. On the palate, the wine is rich and nicely balanced with a silky mouthfeel and soft tannins, and flavors of sweet blackberry, black pepper, and aromatic cedar. A lingering, spicy finish with flavors of blackberry and cassis rounds out the wine.

VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot

APPELLATION: Napa Valley

HARVEST DATES: Sept 15, 2015 through October 2nd, 2015

BARREL AGING: 17 months (30% new French; 10% new American; French neutral for the balance)

RELEASE DATE: May 2018

ALCOHOL: 14.2%

TA: 5.5 g/L

pH: 3.6

CASES PRODUCED: 2,664

Download Tech Sheet as PDF

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WINEMAKING:
The 2012 Red Wine is a Napa Valley heritage blend. The composition creates a rustic and hearty fruit-forward, full-bodied wine with soft tannins and great approachability. The wine began with a three-day cold soak and a cool, prolonged fermentation in order to extract color and flavor, minimizing bitterness from seeds.

TASTING NOTES:
Fresh fruit is the focus here, with prominent aromas of boysenberry, blueberry, and plum balancing nicely with maple sugar, sweet vanilla, and black peppercorn. On the palate, the wine is juicy with a fruit explosion of blueberries, plum, and sour cherry, leading to a soft finish.

VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 62% Zinfandel; 18% Cabernet Franc; 15% Petite Sirah; 5% Merlot

APPELLATION: Napa Valley

HARVEST DATES: September 14, 2012 through October 15, 2012

BARREL AGING: 12 months (30% new American; 70% French neutral)

RELEASE DATE: Spring 2015

ALCOHOL: 13.8%

TA: 5.3 g/L

pH: 3.8

CASES PRODUCED: 1,550

Download Tech Sheet as PDF


WINEMAKING:
We began the winemaking process for the 2013 Pinot Noir by gently destemming the grapes for whole berry fermentation. Following the destemming process was a preliminary three-day cold soak and punch down to extract color and flavor. Using the Williams Selyem yeast strain, the fermentation process lasted ten days, with punch down cap management twice per day for gentle extraction. The wines were then racked into 60% new French oak barrels.

TASTING NOTES:
Primary aromas of caramelized dark cherries, pomegranate and molasses are followed by secondary tones of sage, clove, underbrush and spice. On the palate, the wine is framed by an elegant structure and silky tannins, with layers of flavor that build in a harmonious and lasting finish.

VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 89% Pinot Noir , 6% Syrah, 5% Zinfandel

APPELLATION: 90% Sonoma Coast (78% Russian River)

HARVEST DATE: October 3, 2013

BARREL AGING: 9 months (60% new French oak)

RELEASE DATE: Spring 2016

ALCOHOL: 14.2%

TA: 0.703 g/100mL

pH: 3.66

CASES PRODUCED: 4,200

Download Tech Sheet as PDF



 

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The Vineyards

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Travis and Catherine created this wine brand from the ground up in 2010. Utilizing their personal relationships with other growers to source fruit, their goal has been to offer terrific, crowd pleasing wines at outstanding values. The heart of the Cabernet Sauvignon is from the eight acre vineyard in front of their family home on the Silverado Trail in the Oak Knoll AVA. The vineyard was planted in 1991, primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon, with a block each of Merlot and Malbec.

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Find Our Wines

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Experience Wines are represented in California and nationally by

Tomlinson Wine Group
Napa, CA  94558
(707) 337-9978

Please Contact Us Directly:  JT@TomlinsonWineGroup.com
www.TomlinsonWineGroup.com

Experience Wine is available from these distributors:

Illinois- Heritage Wine Cellars
6600 W Howard Street, Niles IL  60714
(847) 965-3625
heritagewinecellars.com

Kansas- Standard Beverage
14415 W 106th Street, Lenexa KS,  66215
(800) 999-8797
standardbeverage.com

Louisiana- Southern Beverage
2400 Newcombe Street, Suite A,  Monroe LA  71201
(318) 322-3181
southernbeveragecompany.com

Indiana- Carroll Wine & Spirits
9880 E 121st St, Fishers IN 46037
(317) 578-7300
carrollwineandspirits.com

Connecticut-Hartley & Parker Ltd Inc
100 Browning St, Stratford CT 06615
(203) 375-5671
hartleyandparker.com

Florida- International Wines & Spirits
10815 NW 33rd Street, Doral FL   33172
(305)593-2664
IWS-Fla.com

Arkansas- Moon Distributors
2800 Vance St, Little Rock AR 72206
(501) 375-8291
moondist.com

Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia-The Winebow Group
4800 Cox Road Suite 300, Glen Allan VA  23060
(804)681-4342
thewinebowgroup.com

 

Past and Present Wine Retailers and Restaurants that feature Experience Wine:

Acme Fine Wines, St. Helena, CA
All Things Olive, Long Beach, CA
Amaya at The Grand Del Mar, San Diego, CA
Arlington Wine & Spirits, Kensington, CA
Artisan Wine Depot, Los Gatos, CA
Artisan Wine Shop, Mountain View, CA
Azzurro Pizzeria, Napa, CA
Back Room Wines, Napa, CA
Back Wines, Folsom, CA
Baleen, San Diego, CA
Beyond Napa, Sacramento, CA
Bird Rock Fine Wine, La Jolla, CA
Blush Wine, San Francisco, CA
Bob’s Market, Santa Monica, CA
Brix, CA
Brix 26, San Francisco, CA
Calwine, Napa, CA
Cardiff Seaside Market, Cardiff, CA
Carpe Vino, Auburn, CA
Castro Village Wine Bar, San Francisco, CA
Cellar Door, San Francisco, CA
Comun Kitchen & Tavern, San Diego, CA
Cook, St Helena, CA
Dean & Deluca Wine, Napa and St. Helena, CA
Del Mar Wine Co., Del Mar, CA
Delius Restaurant, Signal Hill, CA
Domenico’s, Danville, CA
Epic Roadhouse, San Francisco, CA
Ferry Plaza Warehouse, San Francisco, CA
Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, San Francisco, CA
Fieldhouse Sports Grill & Tavern, Danville, CA
Gott’s Roadside, San Francisco, CA

Gott’s Roadside, Napa, CA
Gott’s Roadside, Palo Alto, CA
Gott’s Roadside, St. Helena, CA
Grape Connections, San Diego, CA
Green Jug, Woodland Hills, CA
Hawks Restaurant, Granite Bay, CA
Il Forno Classico, Gold River, CA
Jackson’s Wine & Spirits, Lafayette, CA
Juliette Kitchen, Newport Beach, CA
K&L Wine Merchants, Redwood City, CA
K&L Wine Merchants, San Francisco, CA
Lakeside Beverages, Granite Bay, CA
Larchmont Village Wine & Spirits, Los Angeles, CA
Liquor Warehouse, Huntington Beach, CA
Ludwig’s Liquors, San Anselmo, CA
Meadowood Resort, St. Helena, CA
Mill Valley Market, Mill Valley, CA
Mission Ave. Bar & Grill, Oceanside, CA
Monopole Wine, Pasadena, CA
Mustards Grill, Napa, CA
Oaks Gourmet Market, Los Angeles, CA
Oxbow Wine Merchant, Napa, CA
Pandora’s Pizza, Encinitas, CA
Paradise Pt Resort – Tidal, San Diego, CA
Parq Restaurant, San Diego, CA
Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, Emeryville, CA
Perry’s -SF Design Center, San Francisco, CA
Perry’s Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA
Perry’s Union St., San Francisco, CA
Playground Restaurant, Santa Ana, CA
Plaza Foods, Rancho Murieta, CA
Plumpjack Wine Shop, San Francisco, CA
Piedmont Grocery, Oakland, CA
Primitivo, Venice, CA
Prince Of Wine, Alpine, CA
Russian River Wine Co., Healdsburg, CA

San Diego Wine Co., San Diego, CA
San Diego Yacht Club, San Diego, CA
San Dimas Wine Bar, San Dimas, CA
San Jose Marriott, San Jose, CA
Santaluz Club, Santaluz, CA
Sunshine Foods, St. Helena, CA
The Barrel Room, Santa Ana, CA
The California Wine Room, Long Beach, CA
The Loft 280, Benicia, CA
The Spot Restaurant, La Jolla, CA
The Wine Bank, San Diego, CA
The Wine Connection, Del Mar, CA
The Wine Crush, Long Beach, CA
The Wine Stop, Burlingame, CA
The Wine Source, Cameron Park, CA
Tra Vigne, St. Helena, CA
Uncorked Wine Bar, Laguna Niguel, CA
UnWined, Folsom, CA
Venedome, Toluca Lake, CA
Vintage Wine & Spirits, Mill Valley, CA
Vintage Wine Estates, Santa Rosa, CA
Vintana Wine & Dine, Escondido, CA
We Olive, San Juan, Capistrano
Wellington’s Wine Bar, Sausalito, CA
William Cross Wine Merchants, San Francsico, CA
Wine Affairs, San Jose, CA
Wine House, Los Angeles, CA
Wine Jar, San Francisco, CA
Wine Meat Cheese, San Francisco, CA
Wine on Piedmont, Oakland, CA
WineBattles, San Diego, CA
WineSellar & Brasserie, San Diego, CA
Winestyles, Folsom, CA
Zuni Café, San Francisco, CA

 

 

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