California Cool

Published by Alex Beaumont on 11/05/2017

On Monday this week, Roberson Wine helped to host The Golden State tasting at The Avenue, St James’s Street. In keeping with the theme, we were showcasing just twenty of the most sought-after single vineyard and estate wines from twelve of our acclaimed Californian producers – wines so rare that we only open bottles for tasting once a year, at The Golden State.

Arriving at the venue, I was immediately put at ease by the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere; merchants, sommeliers, customers and press meandered freely, talking, tasting and soaking up the laid-back Californian vibe. It felt refreshingly different to some of the stuffy St James’s Street tastings I've been to before.

As a relative newcomer to Roberson, but knowing the accolades achieved by our Californian producers, I was really excited to sample the range. I was not disappointed. The standout was Cathy Corison’s Kronos Vineyard 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. It would seem her reputation preceded her, with nearly everyone at the tasting vying to get some of the good stuff.

Kronos, a single vineyard, was a big part of what drew Cathy to the land that became Corison Estate. Planted on St George’s rootstocks, which are normally resistant to Phylloxera, Kronos was believed to be impervious to this vine disease. Unfortunately, after she purchased Kronos, this proved not to be the case and Cathy has had to expend huge effort to rescue this dying vineyard.

Her success in sustaining the site’s 30 year old vines really shows in the depth of flavour offered; a beautiful balance between power and elegance, the Kronos Cabernet is an absolute delight and a real benchmark of Californian winemaking. I was lucky enough to have a quick chat about it with The Times’ Jane MacQuitty, who recounted meeting Cathy whilst visiting Napa, and has huge admiration for her.

The event was topped off by dinner at Marylebone’s Beast Restaurant, with a crowd of sommeliers who list our wines in the London fine dining scene. The conversation definitely flowed as much as the wine, with the feeling being that, besides outstanding quality, Roberson’s Californian range stood out for the stories our (often 4th or 5th generation) family producers are able to tell. And, of course, for that laid-back Californian vibe.

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Alex Beaumont

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