Lewis Cellars New Releases for the Fall- all the Lewis wines in the store on Sale and this Week's menu at the Wine Bar
“Mr. Mel Dick asked me about 18 years ago what wines I like to drink.” I told him “I like to drink the wines my friends make.” “Wine is more personal to me. I don’t seek out what new wine might get a 96 point scores for there are a ton of great wines.
Stylistically I like some better than others and in my portfolio there is room for all different styles as long as they are well made with the integrity and effort of the winemaker.” - Jimmy Mancbach
I would agree with the late great Jimmy that there is a unique connection with the wine when you know the person who’s sweat and passion went into producing it. Wine is nature and human perception of an art form that is as ancient as our society.
Some of my favorite wines are made by my good friends and Randy and the late Debbie Lewis are some of my oldest friends in the wine business. I met Randy and Debbie my first year working at Café Maxx in 1990. I could not have been happier to hear that their 2013 vintage Napa Cabernet Sauvignon was the #1 Wine in the Wine Spectator’s illustrious top 100 in 2016, even though it had been sold out for more than 6 months. I was also glad to know that Debbie saw them reach this incredible achievement before she passed away. God bless and that’s why I always say drink the good stuff first as you never know when your last day is so there is no reason to drink anything but KILLER juice! (KILLER is my highest score)
The only problem is that like so many great small producers Lewis Cellars only make a small amount of wine with less than 1000 cases of most of the reserve Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings and their largest production wine being only 1700 cases and when you are one of 40 wines to have every achieved this accolade in the world’s most recognized wine publication you know that the wine will only sell out faster this year so you may not want to wait too long to respond to this e-mail if you want the 2017 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a very short vintage for Napa and the Alec’s Blend is the real crowd pleaser! We have four new releases from Lewis on SALE on this offering and we also have an incredible collection of older vintage Lewis wines on this offering and we have already set a few bottles aside for the next time Randy or Dennis visit us!
We have three great events at the Wine Bar this week and I have included this weeks menu at the end of this offering.
Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 7:30 PM
Saget La Perriere Loire Valley Wine Tasting with Special Guest Arnaud Saget
Friday, October 11, 2019 - 7:30 PM
Avignonesi Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano Wine Tasting with Special Guest Gabriele D'Errico
Saturday, October 12, 2019 - 7:30 PM
Gaja and White Truffle Piedmont Wine Tasting
New Releases from Lewis Cellars!!
This wine has scored as high as any of the other Lewis wines and is always the best to drink upon release- a real crowd pleaser!!
2017 Lewis Alec's Blend Napa
Price: $73.00 Your Price: $64.24 Quantity in Stock: 60
Graduating from college this year, Alec’s life will soon take a more serious turn but there’s still plenty of youthful delight in his 2017 Alec’s Blend. 58% Syrah, 21% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon this year’s blend is complex and fruit forward with opulent black cherry and a dash of sweet molasses. Sporting plush palate texture throughout, the wine finishes with delicious chocolatey tannins.
2016 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Magnum
Price: $397.50 Your Price: $349.80 Quantity in Stock: 5
2016 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa
Price: $189.00 Your Price: $166.32 Quantity in Stock: 6
There is distinct power and complexity to our 2016 Reserve Cabernet. Navy blue-black yet brilliant in color the wine is front-loaded with ripe fruit of crushed currants and berries. Secondary notes bring mineral and earth aromas laced with sweet anise and oak spice. Packed with fruit on entry, a dusky, sinewy character develops on the palate with fine-grained tannins tailing to the finish.
2017 Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa
Price: $109.00 Your Price: $95.92 Quantity in Stock: 58
"So good!” - a direct quote from our winemaker Josh Widaman when we finished final barrel selections for the 2017 Napa Cabernet. Dense, layered aromas with sweet cocoa, alluring oak spice and wow-factor frontal fruit, the wine is showy yet seriously structured. Creamy melted berry character gives way to supple muscle with integrated tannins and a long, lavish finish.
2018 Lewis Chardonnay Sonoma
Price: $60.00 Your Price: $52.80
Like a silk robe or satin sheets our 2018 Napa Chardonnay seduces with thrilling texture. Creamy pear, crème brulee, white nectarine and gardenia blossom sprinkled with vanilla spice, it is simply delicious and irresistible. Finely structured yet opulent to the core, it is graced with a long, luscious finish.
The Rest of the Lewis Wines in the Store:
2016 Lewis Vin Gris Syrah Rose Napa
Price: $27.00 Your Price: $23.76 Quantity in Stock: 11
Jerry Garcia's "Scarlet Begonias" is the muse behind our 2016 Vin Gris - another vintage we're grateful for. Deeply colored and loaded with fresh strawberry, guava and yellow peach the wine is laced with gardenia blossom, mineral, and musky spice. Lush and round yet succulent and refreshing this is rosé you 'might as well try, might as well try.' 125 cases produced
2017 Lewis Reserve Chardonnay Napa
Price: $81.00 Your Price: $71.28 Quantity in Stock: 18
Think of our 2017 Reserve Chardonnay as a Rolls Royce Wraith – offering a sumptuous interior with serious performance. A plethora of heady aromas alight from the glass with Anjou pear, warm brioche, sweet mineral spice and gardenia blossom. Lush yet lively with great depth and gauzy texture the wine shows impeccable build quality and attention to detail with a miles long finish.
2017 Lewis Chardonnay Napa
Price: $60.00 Your Price: $52.80 Quantity in Stock: 4
This 2017 vintage Napa Chardonnay is a serious athlete - fleet-footed and marathon ready with fast-twitch muscle tone. Ripe with stone fruits, caramel apple and white flower blossoms the nose is expressive and alluring. Lively and broad-ranging with top-notes of butterscotch and sweet mineral the wine is super silky with orangey citrus and hazelnut flavors that flow into a high-mileage finish.
2016 Lewis Chardonnay Russian River Sonoma
Price: $60.00 Your Price: $52.80 Quantity in Stock: 4
Our 2016 Sonoma Chardonnay steals the show this year with flashy ripe citrus, pineapple and vanilla orange blossom. Wonderfully broad and rich on entry the wine has great structure and detail, soaring with hi-tone tropical fruit and spices before trailing away with floral and mineral notes. 1,600 cases produced.
2017 Lewis Chardonnay Barcaglia Lane Russian River Valley
Price: $88.25 Sale $77.66 Quantity in Stock: 3
The nose alone takes our 2017 Barcaglia Lane Chardonnay to the highest level, with nectarine and vanilla chiffon, sterling rose and preserved lemon, mineral, and sweet oak spice. Deftly weighted with citrus and tree fruits the wine achieves balance through a ribbon of native acidity carrying on to a lengthy succulent finish.
2016 Lewis Merlot Napa
Price: $88.50 Your Price: $77.88 Quantity in Stock: 31
Mandolin, vocals, violin and guitar, you’ll find tons of hootenanny fun in our lavish 2016 Merlot. Black raspberry fruit laden with sweet, briarwood spice, molasses and mocha-java all find voice in this party in a bottle. Juicy, vibrant and supple with chocolate-cherry tannins and natural acidity.
2016 Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa
Price: $109.00 Your Price: $95.92 Quantity in Stock: 31
Winery notes: Juicy, ripe and fruitful our 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet captures the kitchen aromas of home jam-making. Creamy vanilla and wood spice together with black plum, truffle and earth give the nose delectable character. Flush with fruit, dusky, dense and polished the wine finishes with cushy, dark-chocolate tannins.
2015 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Magnum (1.5L)
Price: $378.00 Your Price: $332.64 Quantity in Stock: 14
From the outstanding 2015 vintage our Reserve Cabernet is powerfully seductive, brilliant and black in hue with kirsch-like crushed berries and showy cedar spice. Ripe, hi-tone fruit aromas are laced with candlewax, clove and cocoa. Expansive, with tiers of black fruit and velvety texture, the palate builds depth and power culminating in a muscular, long finish with supple young tannins.
2013 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa (#1 in the Wine Spectator’s Top 100)
Price: $395.00 Your Price: $347.60 Quantity in Stock: 4
We make four unique cabernets but the Napa Valley Cab is our preferred daily driver. Not a hybrid or 4-cylinder econo-box; more of a 3.0-litre in-line six that's silky smooth with plenty of supple power. The 2013 sports a plush interior and wide array of currants, berries, black truffle and mocha aromas. The steering, gearbox and brakes work together seamlessly, and the experience is competent and rewarding under all road conditions. With plenty of staggered-wheel grip beneath a chassis of fine-tuned tannins this wine displays remarkable fit and finish. 1,600 cases produced.
2014 Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Magnum
Price: $379.00 Your Price: $333.52 Quantity in Stock: 13
The best qualities from our past two vintages come together like yin and yang in our singular 2014 Reserve Cabernet. Radiant color and soaring aromas of ripe blackberry, toasty oak spices, black truffle and cappuccino make an impressive entrée. Fleshy and supple at first, the wine expands into deeper, more concentrated fruit layers with chocolaty, fine-grained tannins. 1,400 cases produced.
2015 Lewis Cuvee L Red Napa
List Price: $275.00 Your Price: $242.00 Quantity in Stock: 6
Straight from James Fenimore Cooper’s novel, Last of the Mohicans, comes our 2015 Cuvee L – a noble savage from an outstanding vintage with great depth of character. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with the strength of a grizzly and the soul of a chief this onyx and indigo wine is cloaked in tiers of blackberry with a quiver of clove and cedary oak spices. Broad paths of richly rendered fruit trail into hand-hewn tannins reflecting nature’s winding ways.
2016 Lewis Syrah Ethan's Sonoma
Price: $49.50 Your Price: $43.56 Quantity in Stock: 12
Eighteen and off to college Ethan’s new 2016 Syrah shows a serious side to an otherwise youthful wine that is ready to party. Savory and sweet with ripe boysenberry and blue fruit, lavender, pancetta and white truffle, it exudes an earthy, engaging character. Vivid, clean and focused on the palate, the wine finishes with a flourish of mineral and white pepper.
A bit more about Lewis Cellars:
Their story one of the most interesting in the wine business and one of the most unique because Randy and Debbie do not own a single grapevine and they have managed to produced consistently excellent wine for over 20 years! And we have been on the Lewis bandwagon since day one.
I remember the first time I met Randy and Debbie, they stopped by Café Maxx to say hello and introduce me to their Oakville Ranch wines as I was setting up the bar. I was probably a bit rushed that evening as I looked at my watch and asked, "Do you have an appointment?" They added me to their Christmas card list that year and continued to come back every year to visit with me and taste the current releases.
Randy also liked to challenge himself by ordering a glass of each wine that we were serving “by the glass” and then say- "don't tell me which one is which, I want to see if I can figure it out." The thing that impressed me the most was not that Randy would pick out each wine correctly it was that he could drink the entire glass of each wine after his blind tasting was over.
After only a few visits we had everything from Oakville Ranch Winery on our wine list and then shortly after that Randy and Debbie formed the Lewis Cellars label.
We have watched the Lewis's grow and grow as they went through the valley's top vineyard sites to find fruit and contract the services of some top name consultants like; Joe Cafaro, Helen Turley and Paul Hobbs. Today, they are making some of the best wines coming from Napa and Sonoma with each varietal being at the top level of quality at any price range.
Every year we conduct a California “Cult” Cabernet Sauvignon tasting featuring some of the most expensive and the highest rated wines from Napa Valley. We have included this wine as a ringer in the past and it has come in first place among the likes of Harlan Estate, Colgin, Araujo, Bryant Family and yes…Screaming Eagle!! All of these sell for over $500 a bottle today!!!
Lewis Cellars is an offspring of Oakville Ranch Vineyards, which burst on the scene as one of Napa Valley's most exciting new wineries of the late 1980's. It all began when Bob Miner (the founder of the highly successful Oracle computer software company) and his wife Mary bought Oakville Ranch in 1989. Longtime friends, Randy and Debbie Lewis, were brought in as limited partners to launch and manage the brand. Lewis has a background unique among vintners in the Napa Valley. From 1970 to 1991, Lewis drove all sorts of race cars and raced in five Indianapolis 500 runs, where he once finished 14th. Debbie, his wife since 1985, is a former wine retailer - she once managed the London Wine Bar in San Francisco and also helped Lewis' race-car career by working with sponsors. Lewis admitted that winding up in the wine business is an unusual turn of events for a guy who has competed with the best from Monte Carlo to Laguna Seca. Born and raised in Atlanta Ga., Lewis came from a family of doctors. Lewis got his bachelor of science degree at San Jose State and then received his master's degree in business administration at UC Berkeley in 1970. "I always wanted to race cars but my family wouldn't let me," he admitted. "By the time I had just about finished college I figured it was an opportunity for me to do what I wanted. I didn't start racing until '69 - I was a late bloomer. But then I couldn't get enough of it, so I started racing full-time." With an advance from a professional team, Lewis took off for Europe in the winter of 1970. "My first race was in Monte Carlo," he said. "I was a bit nervous as there were 125 drivers for 24 slots. Nevertheless, I did all right. I finished 12th." Lewis spent three years in Europe. It was there that he got a bit of education - not only on the track, but in the European lifestyle as well. He learned a great deal about wine and developed a palate for a wide variety of varietals and winemaking styles. "For 23 years I had a great career. But now I can't think of anything I'd rather do," said Lewis.
After the winery was formed, Lewis and Miner decided to go looking for a winemaker. They turned to one of the best in the business - Joe Cafaro. Cafaro was the founding winemaker at Keenan and later worked at Acacia. Since 1985, he has served as consultant to the Jaeger Family Winery, Dalla Valle Vineyards, and Robert Sinskey Vineyards. He is also the founder of Cafaro Cellars, noted for fabulous Merlots and Cabernets. At Oakville Ranch Cafaro practices minimal winemaking intervention and utilizes lots of new French oak barrels to produce a singularly unique Napa Valley hillside Cabernet. From the outset Oakville Ranch Vineyards was a Cabernet star - its debut was one of the best wines produced in the Napa Valley in the very difficult 1989 vintage. The 1990 Cabernet was broad, rich, lush, and complex - ample evidence that great wines can and would be produced at Oakville Ranch. The 1991 vintage, however, heralded the true arrival of Oakville Ranch as a Cabernet superstar. The winery produced three Cabernets in that vintage: a regular bottling, a Reserve, and a Lewis Select. The latter was a really special wine and a significant notch up from the other two Oakville Ranch Cabernets - it was easily one of the top stars of the 1991 vintage. Although only 450 cases were produced, it garnered significant attention for Randy and Debbie Lewis. The Lewis Select was their own personal statement as vintners and set the stage for the Lewis’s to break away on their own venture.
Within a year after the release of the first Lewis Select Cabernet under the Oakville Ranch label, Randy and Debbie's tenure came to an end. In November of 1994, their business partner, Bob Miner, lost his battle with cancer. Shortly thereafter the Miner family decided to resume full control of the property. Randy and Debbie had accomplished their objective of piloting the Oakville Ranch brand to 4,500 cases and achieving almost overnight recognition for Oakville Ranch among connoisseurs of Napa Valley wines. Bob Miner's nephew Dave assumed management responsibilities; and Randy & Debbie Lewis decided to form their own brand utilizing Oakville Ranch fruit. A long term contract with the Miner family guaranteed the Lewis’s as much as half of the grapes from Oakville Ranch, thus ensuring them a high quality source of fruit for the foreseeable future. Although the picture is still somewhat muddled, the final split between the Miners and the Lewis’s may not have been completely amicable. Firstly, Randy and Debbie have earnestly been combing the Napa Valley for new vineyard sources that will make them less dependent on Oakville Ranch. Secondly, though they continued to utilize the services of winemaker Cafaro (who was still making the wine for Oakville Ranch), within eighteen months of the launch of Lewis Cellars, Joe Cafaro was gone. In his place arrived the leading winemaker in the entire state of California, the inimitable Helen Turley. Although Turley had responsibility for the 1994 Lewis Cabernet and the 1995 Lewis Chardonnay, her relationship with the Lewis’s was short-lived. In early 1997 Lewis Cellars hired another superstar winemaker, Paul Hobbs. Hobbs has his own very successful and consults for a number of other properties both in California and South America.
The winemaker today is Josh Widaman he came to Lewis from Pahlmeyer where he had been winemaker. His previous experience includes 4 years as assistant winemaker at Chimney Rock Winery and multiple roles at Stags' Leap Winery, Gloria Ferrer, and Viña Tarapaca in Chile.
With a B.S. in Viticulture & Enology from UC Davis, Josh brings 15 years of winemaking experience to Lewis, where he is a large and ever-smiling presence.
This Week’s Menu at the Wine Bar
Shutty Fries - Montreal Seasoned Steak Fries
Green Goddess Pizza: Pesto, Arugula, Green Pepper, Avocado & Mozzarella
Prosciutto Pizza: Goat Cheese & Mozzarella, Figs, Shallots, Arugula & Balsamic Glaze
Beef Sliders Truffle Mushroom Aioli, Gruyere Cheese on Brioche Buns
Ceasar Salad with Bacon Fat Polenta Croutons, Crispy Prosciutto & Shaved Parmesan
*Tuna & Mango Tower: Toasted Coconut, Fried Shallots & Coconut-Jalapeno Swag
Grilled Octopus with Jalapeno-Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli: Goat Cheese Crema, Bacon Crumble, Toasted Pinenuts
Shrimp Arrabbiata: Spicy Tomato Sauce, Linguini & Toasted French Bread
Crispy Fried Chicken: Gruyere Mashed Potatoes Blackberry BBQ Sauce
Seared Hudson Valley Duck Breast with Cherry-Port Demi & Cardamom Scented Sweet Potato Mash
Berkshire Pork Loin Chop with Maple-Bacon Jam & Sweet Potato Mash
Short Rib Shepherds Pie: Crème Fraiche Mash, Mushrooms, Chippolini Onions & Braised Carrots
Roasted New Zealand Lamb Rack with Mongolian BBQ Sauce & Crème Fraiche Mash
Dark Chocolate Souffle
Flan with Dulce Leche Drizzle
Foie Gras Twinkies with Raspberry Coulis
Charcuterie and Cheese Selections
$6/1 ounce serving
Prosciutto di San Daniele
Bresaola- Italian Dried Wagyu
Tartufo-Black Truffle Salumi
Fenelli-Dry Fennel Salumi
Manzo -Wine Rind Wagyu Salumi
NDUJA-Spicy Spreadable Salumi
Jamon De Serrano
$6/1 ounce serving
Gorgonzola Dolce-Super Soft
Turtle Creek Chevre Goat
ILE Brie-Soft Creamy Mild
Saint Andre-Triple Cream
Black Wax Asiago-Semi Soft Sharp
Daken Cheddar-Dill & Herb Rubbed
ALPS Blossom-Herb & Flower Crusted Ripe Cheddar
Barely Buzzed-Lavender & Cocoa Rubbed Cheddar
Comte-Sharp Raw Cow’s Milk
Alpha Tolman-Aged Alpine Style Raw
Manchego- Raw 12 Month Aged-Sheep’s Milk
Reggiano Parmesan Aged 24 Months
Beemster Gouda-24 Month Aged
Wine by the Glass
----Sparkling and Rose Wines-----
NV Laurent Perrier Harmony Demi Sec Champagne
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $16.75
2005 Dom Perignon Rose Brut Champagne
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $150.00
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $10.00
2017 Chateau La Mascaronne "Quat 'saisons" Cotes De provence
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $8.75
2015 Halter Ranch Grenache Blanc Paso Robles
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $8.50
2016 Karl Lagler Gruner Veltliner Burgberg Federspiel Austria
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $9.75
2017 Saget La Perriere Vouvray Marie De Beauregard
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $8.75
2015 Three Sticks Chardonnay Durell Vineyard
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $20.00
2017 Lewis Alec's Blend Napa
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $73.00
2014 Avignonesi Desiderio Merlot
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $18.00
2016 Tenuta San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $13.50
2014 Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $12.75
2015 Gaja Dagromis Barolo
(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $35.25
1940 Cossart Vintage Sercial
(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $75
1934 Rutherford & Miles Verdelho RSV Madeira
(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $89.00
1900 D’Olivera Vintage Verdelho
(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $85
1927 Leacock Vintage Bastardo
(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $85
1920 Cossart Malmsey Madeira
(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $115
1863 Blandy's Madeira Malvasia Solera
(2 Ounce Pour) Price: $89.00
1999 Blandy’s Madeira Malmsey Coleihta
(2 ounces) Price: $19.75
1907 Blandy’s Vintage Bual Madeira
(2 Ounce) Price: $140.00
2013 Ramos Pinto LBV Port
(3 Ounce Pour) Price: $8.50