Prestigious winery nearing its tenth anniversary
Napa, CA, March 13, 2017 —- Arrow&Branch is announcing two new releases. “It is with great pride that we release our second vintage of the Beckstoffer Dr. Crane, the 2013,” announced founder/proprietor Steve Contursi. At the same time the winery is also releasing its 2016 Sauvignon Blanc.
The 2013 Arrow&Branch Beckstoffer Dr. Crane was chosen by James Suckling as one of his top 65 wines of the world and one of the top 40 wines of California. Winemaker Jennifer Williams describes the wine: “it enters spicy with elements of anise and dried lavender. This ample wine is dark in character accentuating its aromas of malt and pen ink. Intense and brooding, the initial impression is earthy and the fruit is of plum with fresh blueberries and candied cherry. In a twist that is more complex than cocoa alone, the wine is warm with notes of cinnamon and cayenne like Mexican chocolate. Rich in body, it reminds me of homemade yellow cake with its custard like flavors. A creamy, textured wine from front to finish, this wine is long and complex and finishes with a minerally stone note unique to the historical Dr. Crane site, and can be enjoyed over the next few decades.”
The wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and only 275 cases were made, entirely from the historic Dr. Crane Vineyard in St. Helena. The grapes were harvested on September 13 and September 17 and the wine underwent 20 months of barrel aging in 72% new French oak barrels. The wine is available in limited quantities at $175.00.
The 2016 Arrow&Branch Sauvignon Blanc is the first Arrow&Branch wine to be sourced from Stagecoach Vineyard, perched on the eastern hillside of the Vaca Mountains. “The aromas are heady with white flowers and pure coconut oil,” says Jennifer Williams, in describing the wine. “It’s a fruity, fresh, pretty wine with ripe peach and sweet orange and a touch of pink grapefruit. The oak barrels used for fermentation include 1 year old barrels – having only stored wine for 6 months in the previous vintage – my favorite for their ability to integrate a hint of spice and wood flavor seamlessly with the fruit. This wine finishes very bright and with the beautiful fruit and acid, it is very approachable,” she adds.
The wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, composed 85% of the Musque clone and the remaining 15% consists of clones 1 and 6. Only 169 cases were made. The grapes were harvested on September 2, 5 and 6 and the wine was aged in 65% French oak (25% 1 year old and 75% neutral) and 35% in stainless steel. The wine is available at $35.00.
The winery is also introducing The Society. “We are thrilled to have found a way to streamline the system for getting our wines to our clients, insuring an effortless collecting experience and paramount service,” explains Steve Contursi. There are three tiers of membership, each with exclusive benefits. More details can be found on the Arrow&Branch website.
Founded in 2008 by Steve and Seanne Contursi, Arrow&Branch creates wines from small hand crafted lots of some of the best Napa Valley vineyards including the Contursis’ estate Cabernet Franc vineyard in Coombsville. The stylistic aim is to be the Napa Valley expression of the greatest wines of Bordeaux, an “American Cheval Blanc.”
The winery’s other current releases are the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Black Label,” which is available at $100.00 and is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot and 1.5% Merlot and the 2013 Red Wine, at $125, a blend of .
59% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot, both made in small quantities.
The Contursis purchased the 3.5 acre estate vineyard in 2007 and added 1.5 contiguous acres in 2011. Mike Wolf is the vineyard manager and farms the vineyards organically. Tours of the estate vineyard are available by appointment only.
Arrow&Branch was chosen as the name for the Contursis’ winery as a reference to numismatics. Steve Contursi has been a professional numismatist since 1975 and specializes in historically significant, museum quality U.S. coins. Found on the reverse of most United States coinage is an eagle holding an olive branch and arrows in its talons. The Arrow&Branch name pays homage to both U.S. coinage and Americana. The olive branch signifies the United States as a peace-loving nation, while the arrow portrays the country’s ability to defend itself. One of the highlights of Steve Contursi’s career as a numismatist was in 2004 when he and the American Numismatic Association unveiled new evidence about “Uncle Sam’s first buck,” the 1794 Flowing Hair dollar, believed by many experts to be the very first silver dollar struck by the U.S. A truly historic national treasure, this mint coin represented an economic declaration of independence for the young United States.
One of Arrow&Branch’s unusual distinguishing touches is that each wine’s label includes a favorite quote from Benjamin Franklin including:
- Mind your business.
- Diligence is the mother of all good luck.
- No man was ever glorious who was not laborious.
- He that can have patience can have what he will.
- Wish not so much to live long as to live well.
A signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and one of our country’s founding fathers, Franklin was an enormously influential figure in U.S. history. One of the many services he performed for our fledgling nation was to be its Ambassador to France. It was the French who aided us greatly in defeating the British, bringing us independence. Franklin certainly learned to enjoy the finest wines in the world while living in France. “The true connection of Benjamin Franklin to Arrow&Branch is that he designed the first coin with a true Americana motif in 1776, known as the Continental Dollar. It’s on this coin that his famous quote “Mind Your Business” is prominently featured,” explains Contursi. “This is the motto of Arrow&Branch,” he adds.
The conjoined spacing between “Arrow” and “Branch” and the ampersand is a design element of the wines’ labels.