This is based on samples provided to me by the winery or a company representing the winery.
2014 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc
2014 Crocker & Starr Malbec Casali 7th Edition
2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc
2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place
I was invited to attend an “online tasting” with Pam Starr and taste a few of the wines produced by Crocker & Starr. I had never tried these wines but I knew of the winery. They were always on my personal list of wines I had to sample. Thankfully the day had come for me to experience these wines.
In 1997, Charlie Crocker and Pam Starr established Crocker & Starr on the Crocker Estate in St. Helena, resurrecting a world-class vineyard with roots dating back to the 1870s. Charlie is co-owner with Pam, the winery manager and winemaker. Between Charlie’s historic estate that has grown grapes for over 140 years and Pam’s winemaking expertise, vision, and business acumen, the partners proved to be a spectacular match.
Tons of information on Charlie and Pam, the vineyard, winery and most importantly their wines is available on their website by clicking here.
My line up for this tasting
2014 Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc – SRP $34
My sample was a 375 ml bottle.
This is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, 87% from the winery’s Crocker Estate Vineyard with the remaining 13% from Oak Knoll’s Las Trancas Vineyard. The wine was fermented in stainless steel (68%), used French oak (20%) and concrete egg (12%). The wine was aged sur lees for 8 to 9 months before blending and bottling. A total of 1200 cases were produced.
The wine is a pale, light yellow with a slight green tint. The fresh and vibrant nose has pear, melon, lime zest, vanilla bean, chalky minerals and a hint of baking spices. This has medium body with crisp acidity and seems totally dry. On the palate tart pears, melons, minerals and a hint of baking spices pop out early with lime zest and vanilla bean coming in later. The finish has great length with lime zest and minerals providing a nice counter balance to the pear and melon. Don’t serve this too cold, it really sings when it’s just on the cool side. I’d love to have this with a nice lobster roll or some freshly grilled shrimp. This has 14.4% alcohol. (93 pts)
2014 Crocker & Starr Malbec Casali 7th Edition – SRP $80
My sample was a full sized, 750 ml bottle.
This wine is a blend of 92% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot from the winery’s sustainably farmed vineyard in St. Helena.
The grapes were harvested between September 17 and October 3. After small lot fermentations, the wine was aged for 17 months in French oak with 55% being new. There were 553 cases produced.
The wine is a deep, dark purple color. The dazzling nose has blackberries, plums, dark roasted coffee beans, baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, dusty minerals, vanilla bean, licorice and scorched earth. This has medium to full body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity. Crushed berries, plums, coffee beans and dark chocolate jump out on the front end on the palate with baking spices, minerals and licorice coming in later. The finish has very good length with vanilla bean and scorched earth providing nice depth. This has great balance and is built to age. This tastes great now with some air, but a couple years in the cellar will be greatly rewarded. This will be outstanding in a couple of years and last through at least then end of the next decade. This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (94 pts)
2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc – SRP $80
My sample was a 375 ml bottle.
This wine has 1% Petit Verdot added to the Cabernet Franc.
After small lot fermentations the wine was aged for 20 months in French oak with 80% new. There were 548 cases produced.
The wine is a deep maroon color. The stunning nose is full of cassis, black cherry, dried leafy herbs, plums, warm baking spices, freshly ground espresso beans and scorched earth. This has medium body with solid tannins and very good acidity. On the palate cassis, dried herbs, ground espresso beans and black cherries quickly take control on the front end with black cherries, baking spices and scorched earth coming in later. The finish has great length with a nice blend of fruit and savory elements. Some time in the cellar will be greatly rewarded but this tastes great now with some time in the decanter. This has the depth and balance to age very gracefully for two decades. I love Cabernet Franc wines and this is probably the best I have ever tasted. This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (96 pts)
2014 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon Stone Place – SRP $120
My sample was a 375 ml bottle.
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is from 38+ year old vines from the winery’s sustainably farmed Crocker Estate Vineyard in St. Helena. The grapes came from the oldest plantings on the property, Block 3.
After being hand harvested on October 7 & 8, and small lot fermentation, the wine was aged 20+ months in French oak, 90% new. There were 572 cases produced.
The wine is a deep, dark ruby to purple color. The intoxicating nose has blackberries, cassis, warm baking spices, vanilla bean, dried rosemary, stony minerals, dark chocolate and a touch of cedar. This has medium to full body with solid tannins and very nice acidity. On the palate blackberries, baking spice, eucalyptus and vanilla bean quickly jump out immediately with minerals and dark chocolate coming in later. The finish is extremely long with a touch of cedar entering the picture. This is drinkable now but a couple years in the cellar will be rewarded and is greatly recommended. The great tannic backbone and acidity as well as the superb balance guarantee a long and graceful life. If you open this in the next couple of years, give is a lot of air. This has 14.4% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (95 pts)
These are world class wines that will appeal to everyone. These have the great taste that will appeal to infrequent wine drinkers but offer outstanding complexity with enough minerality and savory notes to cause a true wine enthusiast to grab the bottle to see what they are drinking. Every one of these wines would be a welcome addition to my dinner table and you should give them a shot, you will be equally amazed.
About Charles Communications Associates
CCA is an independent creative marketing firm that employs traditional public relations and new media strategies to assist companies, organizations and non-profits in the creation, development and marketing of interesting and compelling brands. Recognized as one of the most effective PR firms in the wine industry, we have an exceptional track record of promoting products in the gourmet, natural and organic food and beverage categories, from wine and tea to top shelf spirits and luxury goods. We consider ourselves fortunate to work with clients who share our philosophy of social responsibility in work and everyday life.
For more information, visit the CCA website.
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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines. I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar. I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com. Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear. There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.
Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase. I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store. Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges. None of the prices include the sales tax.
All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.