These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.



2013 Casey Flat Ranch Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Casey Flat Ranch Viognier

2013 Casey Flat Ranch Syrah Rosé

2010 Casey Flat Ranch Estate



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I was extremely fortunate to get an invite to an online chat with a winery that was new to me from an area that was equally unknown.  The winery was Casey Flat Ranch from California’s Capay Valley.  This online chat had the added bonus of also featuring streaming video which is always more enjoyable than just reading Tweets.



The Winery

Casey Flat Ranch a 5,000 acre ranch, is based in the Capay Valley AVA, bordering the Vaca Mountains on the eastern side of Napa County (22 miles due east of St. Helena).  The ranch is about 90 minutes north of San Francisco.  The family has owned the ranch for 30 years.  The vineyard is defined by its award-winning Rhone and Bordeaux-style blends, stunningly rugged location, the purebred Longhorn cattle that roam the estate, and a rich homesteading heritage that dates back to California’s Gold Rush era.  With its unique history and stunning high-elevation mountain vineyards, Casey Flat Ranch produces deep, concentrated wines that evoke the raw natural beauty of the land, aided by the earnest, discriminating and pioneering team behind each bottle.


The first vines were planted in 2004 and the vineyard is sustainably cultivated, using materials and farming techniques that emphasize water and soil conservation.  The growing season brings warm days and cool nights, creating climate conditions similar to the St. Helena appellation, just 22 miles to the West.


In addition to the vineyards, the family has maintained a Longhorn Cattle operation on the property for 11 years.  Current estimates have the herd numbering between 140 and 170 head, with 30 to 40 heifers as annual replacement.  Registered Bulls, purchased out of Texas from the Bass Brothers Ranch have been used as the basis for the line breeding program.


More information about the winery, ranch and Capay Valley is available on their website by clicking here.



The Capay Valley

In Yolo County, just across the border from Napa Valley, sits the secluded and little-known Capay Valley.  It was established as an AVA in 2002.  Originally part of the Berryessa Spanish land grant, the area was settled in the 1850’s during the California Gold Rush. Vines were planted a decade later, making it one of the pioneer winegrowing regions in California.


The Capay Valley features warm days, mild nights and plenty of sunshine perfect weather for both Bordeaux and Rhone varieties.  The appellation’s best sites are situated in the higher elevations where the temperatures are cooler and the soils are more complex.


Casey Flat Ranch’s vineyards are the highest in the AVA, roughly 2,000 feet above sea level.  This creates growing conditions that are radically different from the rest of the appellation.  The soils here range from sandy to rocky with a sub-layer of fractured sandstone.  The climate is similar to northern St. Helena with diurnal temperature fluctuations of up to 40 degrees.

To capitalize on its remarkable mountain terroir, Casey Flat Ranch uses the same low-yielding (three tons per acre), sustainable, vine-by-vine viticultural techniques employed at many of the top wineries in Napa Valley.  The resulting wines are deep, rich, concentrated and positively different than anything else produced in California.



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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.







Alison Morey Garrett, Managing Partner and Laura Barrett, Winemaker, provided background on Casey Flat Ranch, the property and the wines, while also leading the audience through a tasting of the following wines:

– 2013 Sauvignon Blanc – SRP $18

– 2013 Viognier – SRP $20

– 2013 Rosé of Syrah – SRP $18

– 2010 CFR Estate Red Blend – SRP $35


Here was the line up for this tasting.

Casey Flat Ranch line up

Casey Flat Ranch line up




2013 Casey Flat Ranch Sauvignon Blanc – SRP $18

The grapes for this wine were whole cluster crushed.  This was aged 75% stainless and 25% neutral oak.  The grapes harvested extremely early for this wine, August 8th.  The total production of this 100% Sauvignon Blanc was just under 700 cases.


The wine has 14.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a pale yellow with a slight greenish tint.  The crisp and very Spring like nose has apples, fresh cut grass, peach, lime zest, stony minerals and pineapple.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate tart apples and grass slip in first, quickly followed by minerals and lime.  The finish has very good length with a hint of peach and pineapple adding nice complexity.  This has nice balance and closes with a jolt of citrusy acidity.  This is a very nice Sauvignon Blanc and could stand up to one from anywhere.  (92 pts)

2013 Casey Flat Ranch Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Casey Flat Ranch Sauvignon Blanc




2013 Casey Flat Ranch Viognier – SRP $20

The winery only has about 1/2 acre planted of Viognier.  It was originally planted to be used in blends, but they decided it could stand on its’ own.  This was sged in 50/50 stainless and neutral oak.  There were 220 cases of this 100% Viognier produced.


This wine has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a pale straw to yellow color.  The inviting nose has peaches, ripe apples, baking spices, white flowers, orange zest, minerals and melon.  This has medium body with soft acidity and an oily texture.  On the palate ripe fruit and spice grab hold until minerals and orange zest swoop in and take charge.  The finish has nice length with a nice jolt of closing citrus.  This gets a touch heavy on the front end until the citrus kicks in, a bit of cellar time will help it balance out.  (88 pts)

2013 Casey Flat Ranch Viognier

2013 Casey Flat Ranch Viognier




2013 Casey Flat Ranch Syrah Rosé – SRP $18

There was a touch over 200 cases produced of this wine.  The Alban clone Syrah grapes were whole cluster pressed with minimal skin contact.


This wine has 14.1% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright salmon pink color.  The alluring nose has strawberries, spice, cherries, minerals and orange blossoms.  This has a light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate the spice and fruit jump out first but allow minerals and some orange zest to gracefully slip into the picture.  The finish has good length with fruit and spice slowly giving way to some nice mouthwatering citrus.  This would be nice with a light meal on a sunny day or on its own with friends.  (89 pts)

2013 Casey Flat Ranch Syrah Rosé

2013 Casey Flat Ranch Syrah Rosé




2010 Casey Flat Ranch Estate – SRP $35

The first vintage of this wine was 2008, there were only 100 cases produced.  The winemaker and her team spends 3 to 6 months with the blending process of this wine.  The final blend was 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Syrah, 19% Cabernet Franc and 4% Mourvedre.  There were 2266 6-packs produced of this wine.


This wine has 14.8% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep ruby to purple color.  The inviting nose has blackberries, dried herbs, cassis, minerals, cedar, tobacco and dried violets.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  The berries and dried herbs coat the palate slowly allowing cedar and minerals to come into focus.  The finish has good length with the spicy oak and a floral note joining dried herbs.  This cries out for a piece of juicy meat hot off the grill.  (90 pts)

2010 Casey Flat Ranch Estate

2010 Casey Flat Ranch Estate




Closing comments

The Casey Flat Ranch Sauvignon Blanc is a world class wine and their Estate Red wine cries out for a piece of juicy meat, hot off the grill.  I would highly recommend hunting down these two wines.  I think we’ll be hearing more from Casey Flat Ranch in the next few years as their vines grow a bit older.


If you would like to hear a LOT more about the winery and these wines in particular, the video for the event is available by clicking here.




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You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.


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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  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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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.