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97-Point Syrah & 95-Point Pinot from an Under-The-Radar Sonoma Estate You Need to Know - 03/05/2018 - Pinot Noir (domestic)

Some great wines are all about place, others are about the winemaking, but the best of the best join these two elements seamlessly. This is what we’ve found with the wines of Cattleya. The handiwork of the supremely talented Bibiana González Rave, Cattleya Wines is shaping up to be the hot new project that’ll be on every wine lover’s lips (both literally and figuratively) in the coming months and years. Jeb Dunnuck did not mince words, proudly proclaiming his adoration of the wines and awarding blockbuster scores. The single-vineyard expressions of Pinot Noir and Syrah featured here, earned 95 and 97 points respectively and beautifully capture the exceptional work being done at this up-and-coming estate. Based on Dunnuck rave reviews and a groundswell of interest from many others, our Assistant Head Buyer met with Rave, and as you can read here, it was a transformative experience. To use Dunnuck’s words, David found Rave’s wines to be “drop-dead gorgeous” as well as “elegant, seamless.” With a winemaking resume that includes stints in Bordeaux, the Northern Rhône, South Africa, and California, her experience runs deep and it really shows through in the wines. While her wines clearly put the spotlight on her winemaking talents, they are also very much about place. Rave adores the unique terroir of Sonoma and has found the perfect alchemy to tease out its best. If you want to get in on the next big thing in California winemaking, then Cattleya is the place to be.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2015 Cattleya Wines "Donum Vinyard" Pinot Noir 95 $64.99 View
2014 Cattleya Wines "Soberanes Vineyard" Syrah 97 $64.99 View


2015 Cattleya Wines "Donum Vinyard" Pinot Noir - 0 available ($64.99)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Coming from very old vines (37-year-old vines), the 2015 Pinot Noir Donum Vineyard offers lots of black cherry, framboise, dried violets and spice characteristics in its elegant, seamless, yet still voluptuous and layered profile. Perfumed and complex aromatically, it's silky and refined on the palate, with present, yet polished tannin. This terrific 2015 has everything; complexity, volume, depth and length. Drink it anytime over the coming decade. Theres a scant 62 cases made." (07/2017)

K&L Notes: The story of Cattleya begins in Medellín, Colombia where winemaker Bibiana González Rave was born and raised before moving to France in search of a wine education. After finishing her initial technician diploma near Cognac, Bibiana followed that up with a degree in Oenology from the University of Bordeaux, working harvests at Château Haut-Brion and other top estates in the area. After picking up additional experience in both Burgundy and the Northern Rhône, as well a stint in South Africa, she made her way out to California and worked her way up into a head winemaking position at Lynmar in the Russian River region. It was in Sonoma that she finally found her heart's terroir, the ability to make wines that truly expressed her soul's intentions. So she decided to put down roots. Donum Vineyard is located to the east of Pratt Vineyard, in the Carneros AVA, and is planted with numerous clones of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The wine is lush on the palate, deeply concentrated with red fruit, but still loaded with aromatics and freshness on the finish.

2014 Cattleya Wines "Soberanes Vineyard" Syrah - 0 available ($64.99)

97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The inkly colored 2014 Syrah Soberanes Vineyard is just drop dead gorgeous, and I suspect the greatest wine made to date from this site. Deep ruby/purple colored, with liquid violet, black raspberries, cassis, graphite, and hints of charcoal, it hits the palate with sensational depth of fruit, full-bodied richness and a layered, multi-dimensional texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. There's just 115 cases, don't miss it!" (07/2017)

K&L Notes: The story of Cattleya begins in Medellín, Colombia where winemaker Bibiana González Rave was born and raised before moving to France in search of a wine education. After finishing her initial technician diploma near Cognac, Bibiana followed that up with a degree in Oenology from the University of Bordeaux, working harvests at Château Haut-Brion and other top estates in the area. After picking up additional experience in both Burgundy and the Northern Rhône, as well a stint in South Africa, she made her way out to California and worked her way up into a head winemaking position at Lynmar in the Russian River region. It was in Sonoma that she finally found her heart's terroir, the ability to make wines that truly expressed her soul's intentions. So she decided to put down roots. Married to winemaker Jeff Pisoni, son of famed California maverick Gary Pisoni, Bibiana was able to use her family connections to source a tiny amount of Syrah from Soberanes Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, one of the most dynamic sites for the varietal in the state. What she has done with that fruit is nothing short of miraculous, weaving layer upon layer of dark, mouthcoating fruit through waves of minerality and spice, bolstered by a rich texture and substantial weight. This is as close to a hidden gem as we find in California these days, as only 115 cases were made.