A Liquor Barn Exclusive: 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel
As our plane descended into the Santa Rosa Airport, I felt a bit nostalgic. I hadn’t been to the “Bordeaux of the United States” since my honeymoon 11 years prior, but here I was looking down over the familiar vineyard-laden mountains. This visit, however, was strictly for business! We began by making stops at just a couple of our favorite Napa Valley winery partners: Salvestrin Winery and Bonterra Winery.
“This is easily the hottest day we’ve had the entire summer,” Shannon Salvestrin told us as we sat down for lunch in the Crane House. The beautiful Victorian cottage was a much-needed respite from a windless 106-degree afternoon. In 1932, the Salvestrin family purchased the home, which dates back to the late 1800’s, along with a large portion of Dr. Crane vineyard, where some of the most sought-after grapes in all of California are produced. The Salvestrin family is currently on their third generation of family owners/operators.
Our multi-course lunch was exceptional, but the wine and conversation were even better. Salvestrin’s Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite California whites ever produced, with bright, mouthwatering flavors of passionfruit, mango, and peach. We also tasted their three tiers of Cabernet—Napa, Dr. Crane, and Three D—each of which gets consistently remarkable scores. If you haven’t had the pleasure of indulging in Salvestrin Winery’s offerings, stop by a Liquor Barn soon to experience what, in my opinion, is some of the best value wine in the world.
We also took the opportunity to learn about the importance of sustainability and organic farming at Bonterra. We were truly inspired by the steps they’re taking to ensure the growth, rejuvenation, and quality of the land and wildlife surrounding them. It also doesn’t hurt that their wine is absolutely gorgeous.
Then, it was time to head up the road and get to work on the real reason we’d come all this way: we wanted to give our Liquor Barn customers something special for this holiday season, so we partnered with 1000 Stories Winery to make a unique Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel just for you!
After a quick meet and greet with winemaker Bob Blue, we were escorted to their cellaring cave. Inside were 30 separate barrels of Zinfandel, half of which were housed in first-use Four Roses barrels, and the other half in older, more subtle Heaven Hill barrels. We went through each barrel for tasting, analysis, and grading. The Four Roses barrels were considerably more powerful and bourbon-focused, while the older Heaven Hill barrels were more subtle and silky. I wanted to make sure we leaned a bit heavier on the bourbon-focused barrels, as I felt our Kentucky-proud Liquor Barn customers would enjoy the bourbon component in their wine. Even so, choosing only 10 of the 30 available options for our blend was no easy task! After the selection was complete, our barrels were put aside for blending and the wine will be on Liquor Barn shelves soon.
I’m very thankful for the opportunity to create something unique for our loyal customers. I know you’ll love this wine, and I’m so excited to bring this offering to our stores!
Liquor Barn Wine Buyer
WSET 2, CICERONE® Certified Beer Server