CAPTURING BALANCE BETWEEN THE WINEMAKER’S ART AND HIS JOURNEY

It is often said that life is a journey, not a destination. It’s the experiences along the way that make up the essence of our character. Much like a fine wine, we start out young and vibrant, and become refined and elegant with age. The essence of Experience wines captures the balance between the winemaker’s art and his journey.

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The People

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Our-PeopleExperience wine is the dream of Catherine and Travis Vale. Both have deep roots in the beverage business. Travis was born and raised in the Russian River Valley of California’s Sonoma Coast, where 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, where Travis was furthering his education in cooler climate growing regions in Marlborough and Catherine was finishing up a six-month tour of Southeast Asia and Australia.

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

The two were married in 2004 and they have called Napa Valley home since then, raising a family of three girls and gaining more experience in the wine field. Travis worked at a family-owned winery and Catherine worked for drinks giant Diageo Chateau and Estate Wines Co. In 2010 they struck out on their own journey of growing grapes and making world-class wine, with Experience as the driving brand.

It is truly a family affair with everyone pitching in when needed, including the couple’s three young daughters. The family’s core belief is that by enjoying the journey, not the destination; life is a series of great opportunities to encounter and explore. 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 2012 vintage was a relief compared to 2011, which was a challenging year. 2012 was the unofficial start to a serious drought in the state, but it gave us optimal growing conditions and only two minor heat spikes to contend with during the season. This provided the opportunity to pick the grapes at their peak of ripeness and allowed us to craft the style of wines we like: soft and approachable.

experience_cab_2012

WINEMAKING:
We started the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon with a preliminary four-day cold soak, which helped extract color and flavor, followed by seven days of fermentation, and a further 10 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: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

APPELLATION: Napa Valley

HARVEST DATES: Sept 21, 2012 through November 8, 2012

BARREL AGING: 16 months (17% new French; 13% new American; French neutral for the balance)

RELEASE DATE: Spring 2015

ALCOHOL: 14.2%

TA: 5.1 g/L

pH: 3.8

CASES PRODUCED: 2,640

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WINEMAKING:
The 2012 Red Wine is a Napa Valley heritage blend. The composition blend 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, without much tannin.

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; French neutral for the balance)

RELEASE DATE: Spring 2015

ALCOHOL: 13.8%

TA: 5.3 g/L

pH: 3.8

CASES PRODUCED: 1,550

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WINEMAKING:
By blending Russian River Valley fruit, which brings distinctive tones of forest floor and earth, with the mineral-rich and chalky character of fruit from Sonoma Carneros, we’ve created a delicious balance. In 2012, we handpicked the fruit before it was gently de-stemmed and crushed into open top fermenters. After a few days of cold soaking and manual punch-downs to extract color and flavor, the wines underwent roughly a week of fermentation before being racked to barrels for nine months of aging.

TASTING NOTES:
Elegant and complex, our Pinot Noir bursts with flavors and aromas of tart red cherry, strawberry, cranberry, candied violets, cola nut, sage, white pepper, forest floor, and violet perfume. Bright and lively acidity balances elegantly with soft tannins and body, leading to a long, lingering finish.

VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 100% Pinot Noir

APPELLATION: 73% Russian River, 27% Carneros Sonoma

HARVEST DATES: First week of September through first week of November 2012

BARREL AGING: 9 months (50% new French oak)

RELEASE DATE: Fall 2014

ALCOHOL: 14.2%

TA: 6.3 g/L

pH: 3.7

CASES PRODUCED: 9,000

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the-vineyards

The Vineyards

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Since 2010, with strong grower relationships, Travis and Catherine have built this wine brand from the ground up. The latest effort of the team, in 2014, was the purchase of a vineyard and family home in the Oak Knoll AVA on Silverado Trail. Its eight acres were planted in 1991, mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon, with some Merlot and Malbec. Grapes from the 2015 harvest will be used in the Experience wines.

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Find Our Wines

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Experience Wine is represented by
San Francisco Wine Exchange
80 East Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Larkspur, CA94939
(415) 546 0484 x 18
www.sfwe.com

Experience Wine is available from these distributors:

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

Glazer’s, Inc.
14911 Quorum Drive
Dallas, TX 75254
(972) 392-8200
glazers.com

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

Henry Wine Group
4301 Industrial Way, Benicia, CA94510
(707) 745-8500
henrywinegroup.com

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

Noble Wines Ltd.
9860 40th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 326-5274
noblewinesltd.com

National Wine & Spirits
Michigan
nwscorp.com

Wirtz Beverage Group
Wisconsin
wirtzbev.com

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

1313 Main Restaurant & Bar, Napa, CA
230 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA
3Twenty Wine Lounge, Los Angeles, CA
750 Wines, St. Helena, CA
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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