You know a vineyard is pretty special when two winemakers like Brad Grimes (Abreu Vineyards) and Sam Kaplan (Arkenstone, Memento Mori, Nine Suns) advise you to check it out. We were asking around about Pritchard Hill - looking for a new single vineyard wine source -- and both Brad and Sam mentioned Houyi Vineyard. We hadn't released a new single vineyard since 2005 (Dr. Crane). To find another one, the planets had to align. Obviously the site had to be capable of making a wine that can stand on its own, but it also had to be on par with yet stand out from our other SV wines. And the grower had to be really committed -- to the site, to us -- for the long term. We found it all in Houyi. Sitting nearly at the top of Pritchard Hill, Houyi is owned by the Chang family, who bought it in 2010. (You should check out their winery, Nine Suns.) It's a fantastically complicated site - everything on Pritchard is - and the Changs farm it with no holds barred. They're much more concerned with growing the best fruit they can than with trying to save a dime. Our kind of partner. We got our first fruit from the vineyard in 2013.
Wine AdvocateFrom Pritchard Hill, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Houyi Vineyard Pritchard Hill is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the iron-rich, red soils of that famous hill above the Oakville crossroads. There are 425 cases of this wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon clones 4, 7 and 337. The Houyi Vineyard, owned by the Changs, is in an expensive neighborhood of superstars, including Brand, David Arthur and Colgin. Well above the fog-line, this area gets very warm days with plenty of UV sunshine and cool nights, which give this wine great acidity to go along with its stunning display of chocolaty, blackcurrant fruit intermixed with blackberry, graphite and forest floor. There are some spring flowers as well. A full-bodied, stunning wine, very much in the Realm style, it should drink well for 20+ years.