Congruence Wines calling it a day

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Dan Hammer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5494
Joined: June 3rd, 2009, 11:05 am
Location: flight Level 3 seven thousand. NYC Metro

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#1 Post by Dan Hammer » April 20th, 2016, 7:38 pm

I just received this e mail from Steve...

Hi, all! I’m reporting on my most recent trip to California. The main purpose of the trip was to finalize the blend on the 2014 Six Acres Vineyard cabernet sauvignon. Going in, I knew I’d be accessing two blends. Both had .5% of cabernet franc. One had 2% petit verdot and 2.5% malbec (first vintage malbec was available for blending) and the other 2.5% petit verdot and 2% malbec. After repeated tastings and much thought, I decided to not decide. I’ll be doing two bottlings from the vintage – most likely named after our two deceased family dogs.

I hope it will be an interesting experience for you – seeing how small differences in the blending grapes make differences in the final wine. I can tell you the wines are significantly different but I can’t say I like one better. So why banish one to never being tasted?

A further note – the 2014 Six Acres cab will be my last commercial bottling under the Congruence label. During this past trip, I mulled over the future of Congruence. For a large variety of reasons, I have made this decision. The reasons cover a wide terrain, but almost all of them pointed to calling it a day with this venture. I intend to keep making wine, but will be doing it on a hobby basis in the future. I have a barrel of 2015 Six Acres picked out and will be working on it for the next year. I will doing an organized dissolution of the company, including its inventory, over the remainder of 2016. What I don’t sell will go into my cellar, and I won’t be complaining. J

I want to thank all of you for supporting Congruence Wines over the past almost 10 years. I’ve been able to make many, many wines of which I am very proud. They continue to make very strong showings in the tasting notes on www.cellartracker.com. We will be enjoying all of these wines for many years and I will relish that. It’s pretty incredible to me that I’ve been able to do what I’ve done with Congruence and, at the end of the day, I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity.

The biggest thank you has to go to Sue. She supported my idea and really made it possible to do. When Crushpad went under and we had to put together a large sum of money to finish the 14 barrels of wine in production or walk away from them, she agreed with me that we should finish those wines. The demise of Crushpad was a crushing blow and it wasn’t an easy decision to pony up that money, but I am so happy we did that. So, again, thanks so much for all you did, Sue.

Now, it’s 4/20, so the first blowout of Congruence wines – the 2011 Grist Vineyard Zinfandel. Here are the Cellartracker notes:

https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp? ... 5f6d760331

We had a couple of bottles over dinner two Sundays ago. I think the wine has turned into what I had hoped to make – a true claret-style zinfandel that is just beginning to come into its own. We had rack of lamb and the wine absolutely shone, elegant and well-balanced.

For the next three weeks (until May 11), the 2011 Grist will available for ½ price - $20 per bottle. Discount code is “420” (for $20). Case orders will have shipping included. Buy for yourself, buy for friends, tell your friends. If you live in a state (e.g. New Jersey and Pennsylvania) for which you can’t place an order through the website (www.congruencewines.com), I will have to place your order. Shoot me an email and we’ll put it together.

The cabs will begin to be sold after the zinfandel. I anticipate making an offer on the 2008 Napa cab sometime around mid-May and then take a break until September. The only ones that won’t be blown out are the 2010 Napa cab and the 2013 Six Acres cab because there is just too little of them to do that. So please load up on the zinfandel now and earmark some funds for the 2008, 2009 and 2011 Napa cabs and the 2010 and 2011 Coombsville Reserve cabs.

Again, thank you so much for all your support over these years and a special thanks to Sue. Cheers! Steve
This space for rent.

User avatar
Corey N.
Posts: 26592
Joined: November 18th, 2010, 8:36 pm
Location: Certainly NOT Orlando

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#2 Post by Corey N. » April 20th, 2016, 7:42 pm

Steve always seemed like a really decent man. Hopefully he's on to bigger and better things.
WOTY: 2013 d’Yquem

Nøv¡¢k

ykwon
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 918
Joined: November 29th, 2014, 9:10 am
Location: The Big D

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#3 Post by ykwon » April 20th, 2016, 7:48 pm

The berserker day case I purchased awhile back was one of my favorites. It's too bad because his wines were great.
y 0 n 9
k w 0 n

mike pobega
Posts: 10859
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 3:26 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#4 Post by mike pobega » April 21st, 2016, 2:26 am

Steve and Sue are wonderful people whom I am proud to call friends.
This could not have been an easy decision for them. I have always been a fan of the wines and still have many in my cellar including the maiden voyage 2007. I wish them both much happinesses in all they do moving forward. Don't be surprised if you see Steve as a négociant in Burgundy soon. This guy's gotta move. :)

User avatar
Steve Eisenhauer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1667
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:02 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#5 Post by Steve Eisenhauer » April 21st, 2016, 6:28 am

Thanks, all. As I said in the e-letter, there are a lot of reasons for the decision. One of them is that I am approaching, quickly, retirement age. I have enough other things on my plate that actually retiring is an appealing concept which I believe I will explore. [cheers.gif] Oh, and feel free to pop onto the site, take advantage of some good pricing and help *this* dream come true, too. champagne.gif
ITB - Congruence Wines

User avatar
Loren Sonkin
Posts: 3643
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:37 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#6 Post by Loren Sonkin » April 21st, 2016, 7:05 am

Best of luck on your next phase Steve!
With regards,

Loren Sonkin
Columnist at www.Intowine.com

jmdavidson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 98
Joined: August 13th, 2013, 7:10 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#7 Post by jmdavidson » April 21st, 2016, 7:44 am

Sorry to hear this, but understand. After having bought the 2009 on BD a couple of years ago, I was hooked. This year a bought some of the Six Acres. I will send a PM regarding a procurement since I am in a no-ship to state. :(
James M Davidson
Chicago area

User avatar
Dennis Kanagie
Posts: 3795
Joined: June 30th, 2014, 8:29 pm
Location: Right here.

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#8 Post by Dennis Kanagie » April 21st, 2016, 8:11 am

I'm sorry to see another great Berserker winery disappear, but certainly do wish you well in whatever form of retirement you choose. Have fun Steve! You've earned it.

ps - A short note on excellent customer service: Steve offered to drive my order of 2010 Reserve to my house because of shipping issues.
Purple Drankin' Cretin

Jim F
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 648
Joined: November 16th, 2015, 6:15 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#9 Post by Jim F » April 21st, 2016, 9:30 am

Steve Eisenhauer wrote:Thanks, all. As I said in the e-letter, there are a lot of reasons for the decision. One of them is that I am approaching, quickly, retirement age. I have enough other things on my plate that actually retiring is an appealing concept which I believe I will explore. [cheers.gif] Oh, and feel free to pop onto the site, take advantage of some good pricing and help *this* dream come true, too. champagne.gif
Good luck to you, Steve.
Jim Freeman

jmdavidson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 98
Joined: August 13th, 2013, 7:10 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#10 Post by jmdavidson » May 19th, 2016, 10:06 am

This email posted on the 11th from Steve in case some of you are interested.
Hello, all! I’ll leave the Zinfandel offer open for a couple of days. If you need a reminder of what the 2011 Grist Zinfandel deal was, shoot me an email.

Stage 2 – valid from now until the end of May. We will take the summer off before resuming with Stage 3. $30 per bottle discount of the 2008 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon – the sale price is $45 per bottle. As always, free shipping applies to all case orders. People in states that do not show up on the ordering page of www.congruencewines.com must contact me directly so we can complete the order. Discount code is “2008Napa”.

Enjoy! I love this wine! Wines that were served on the same table at dinner and had the Congruence 2008 preferred to them include the 2008 Maybach, all the 2008 offerings of World’s End Wines, the 2008 Myriad Dr. Crane and a few others I probably forget. To be fair, Kapcsandy’s 2008 State Lane cuvee did edge out the 2008 Congruence at one dinner. Notes on the 2008 can be found at:

https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp? ... 2b530db048
James M Davidson
Chicago area

User avatar
Steve Eisenhauer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1667
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:02 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#11 Post by Steve Eisenhauer » May 20th, 2016, 6:22 am

I don't think you can go wrong with this one. It's really an outstanding wine; if you get a case, you come in under $600; the wine has just started to hit its drinking window; I'm pretty sure the wine has at least 10 years, if not more, ahead of it; and I've cellared it for you on my dime for almost 6 years under ideal conditions. I'd be backing up the truck if I were a cab drinker. [cheers.gif]
ITB - Congruence Wines

User avatar
Steve Eisenhauer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1667
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:02 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#12 Post by Steve Eisenhauer » May 22nd, 2016, 6:56 am

I see a lot of orders dangling uncompleted when I look in my admin panel window. If you are having any issue with your order, please email me at steve@congruencewines.com.
ITB - Congruence Wines

mrichey
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 20
Joined: January 7th, 2015, 10:03 am

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#13 Post by mrichey » May 22nd, 2016, 7:34 am

order in on the cab. Seems like a no brainer!!
Μικε

User avatar
Joe B
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 9062
Joined: October 28th, 2012, 2:40 pm
Location: North Burbs Chicago Illinois

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#14 Post by Joe B » May 22nd, 2016, 4:52 pm

Is there zinfandel from the 420 left as well as being able to get some 2008 Cab?
J W@ll @ce

User avatar
Rob Rippe
Posts: 351
Joined: November 5th, 2009, 1:18 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#15 Post by Rob Rippe » May 23rd, 2016, 8:17 am

I am sorry for this news - I have the 2009 & 2010 in my cellar- I actually haven't opened either yet.
I think I was supposed to open the 2010 first?

Good luck to Steve.
Cheers
Rip
If you were a bird and lived very high,
You'd lean on the wind when the breeze came by,
You'd say to the wind as it took you away,
That's where I wanted to go today

User avatar
Steve Eisenhauer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1667
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:02 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#16 Post by Steve Eisenhauer » May 23rd, 2016, 1:24 pm

Thanks, Rip. The 2010 Napa is a little more ready to drink. Just had one Friday, in fact. Very enjoyable. The 2009 isn't far behind, though. An hour or so of air would help the 2009.
ITB - Congruence Wines

User avatar
Michael O'Brien
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 900
Joined: August 21st, 2009, 8:27 am
Location: Plano, TX

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#17 Post by Michael O'Brien » May 23rd, 2016, 5:53 pm

Gonna miss you. I think I will hold on to mine another year or two. Irreplaceable.
PlanoWino

User avatar
Eric Werner
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 361
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 11:13 am
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#18 Post by Eric Werner » June 1st, 2016, 6:37 pm

Halfway through my first bottle of the 2008. Excellent wine. Firing on all cylinders. Glad I bought a case, and am thinking about more.

User avatar
Steve Eisenhauer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1667
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:02 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#19 Post by Steve Eisenhauer » June 1st, 2016, 8:11 pm

Eric Werner wrote:Halfway through my first bottle of the 2008. Excellent wine. Firing on all cylinders. Glad I bought a case, and am thinking about more.
Thanks, Eric. I'm just an email away if you do want more. [cheers.gif]
ITB - Congruence Wines

Michael Martin
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6339
Joined: August 28th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#20 Post by Michael Martin » February 28th, 2018, 6:45 pm

I think Steve is shutting down the brand today. We love his wines and I tip my hat to anyone willing to pursue a dream. I wish Steve and his family all the best.

Honored to have his 2014 Six Acres BDIX wines in my cellar.

User avatar
Chris Seiber
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 8650
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 3:22 pm
Location: Newport Beach, CA

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#21 Post by Chris Seiber » February 28th, 2018, 9:46 pm

Eric Werner wrote:Halfway through my first bottle of the 2008. Excellent wine. Firing on all cylinders. Glad I bought a case, and am thinking about more.
I went pretty long on those. They’re very good — need a couple hours decant, and they have a lot of sediment, but really beautiful California cabernet.

User avatar
Steve Eisenhauer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1667
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:02 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#22 Post by Steve Eisenhauer » March 1st, 2018, 6:47 pm

Well, it's been the longest orderly liquidation in history. Lol. The good news is that sales continue in a steady, if not overwhelming, manner. Enough so that I continue to have a positive cash flow. So .....

Things continue for a bit. Plenty of 2011s left and I think the 2011 Coombsville Reserve is really good. A good amount of 2008 and 2009 are still in inventory and a limited amount of the 2014s are still available. The 2011 Zinfandel is drinking nicely now and I have about 8 cases of that left. Everything else is gone.

And I am getting involved with a startup Pennsylvania winery that will have, at least initially, a custom crush Napa cab component in its business. So much for retirement. Stay tuned.

And thanks for all the support and kind words. [cheers.gif]
ITB - Congruence Wines

User avatar
Josh Grossman
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1674
Joined: August 30th, 2017, 11:26 am

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#23 Post by Josh Grossman » July 26th, 2018, 8:38 pm

Just popped the 2009 Congruence Cabernet Sauvignon tonight and what a wine. Completely opaque with absolutely no signs of age. The top note on the nose--which usually is what I try to discern as a kind of red or blue fruit I get, in this is all flowers; the most floral nose of any cab I've ever had. I especially get an aromatic orchid (Lady of the Night) and jasmine. Fruit comes in on the middle note and lingers. I get almost dehydrated/concentrated blueberries-but not stewed. The middle note lingers with a base note of fennel bulb and a touch of pencil shavings. Still lots of acid on the palate and fine tannins on the tongue. While this is singing--my personal taste I should have left the meat hanging a bit longer. More acid and less glycerol than I would expect from an '09 in the valley--but that's a good thing in my book. Think this and the 14.5 ava makes it evident that these grapes were not treated to Parkerization (which I hope isn't why this thread exists).

Michael Martin
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6339
Joined: August 28th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#24 Post by Michael Martin » July 27th, 2018, 7:28 am

I still have a few 11's and 14's. Trying to keep my hands off them, but I love them.

User avatar
Jay $$ Winton
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2761
Joined: June 1st, 2009, 5:21 pm
Location: University Park, MD/Rehoboth Beach, DE

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#25 Post by Jay $$ Winton » July 27th, 2018, 9:43 am

Anything left Steve? I enjoyed the zins I got from you.
Immaturity-my life, not my wine.

User avatar
Josh Grossman
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1674
Joined: August 30th, 2017, 11:26 am

Congruence Wines calling it a day

#26 Post by Josh Grossman » July 27th, 2018, 10:02 am

Michael Martin wrote:I still have a few 11's and 14's. Trying to keep my hands off them, but I love them.
My last one is a '10 Coombsville Reserve Cab. I've been cutting my innovatorys of California Cabs in favor of Washington and Bordeaux but this has me second guessing. Steve, any idea what's next? I've been told that Adams County, Ohio has the closest soil composition to Bordeaux as anywhere else on Earth ;)

User avatar
Steve Eisenhauer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1667
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:02 pm

Re: Congruence Wines calling it a day

#27 Post by Steve Eisenhauer » August 17th, 2018, 11:50 am

Josh Grossman wrote:
July 27th, 2018, 10:02 am
Michael Martin wrote:I still have a few 11's and 14's. Trying to keep my hands off them, but I love them.
My last one is a '10 Coombsville Reserve Cab. I've been cutting my innovatorys of California Cabs in favor of Washington and Bordeaux but this has me second guessing. Steve, any idea what's next? I've been told that Adams County, Ohio has the closest soil composition to Bordeaux as anywhere else on Earth ;)
Sorry. I haven't been visiting here very often.

Haha on Ohio! I might wind up close to there. I'm in discussions with someone starting a winery outside Pittsburgh and have been doing some work on his wines (California grapes). But the aim is to do estate grapes (varietals tbd - vidal, seyval blanc, riesling, chardonnay and moscato are in consideration for whites; reds candidates are cab franc, blaufrankisch, zweigelt, chambourcin, maybe cab sauv) and wine production in 6 or so years. I'll be old then but not ready to retire hopefully.

I'm in the real final stages of liquidation and doing unannounced-publicly pricing, so if anyone has interest in picking the bones, email me at steve@congruencewines.com.
Last edited by Steve Eisenhauer on August 17th, 2018, 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ITB - Congruence Wines

User avatar
Steve Eisenhauer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1667
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:02 pm

Re: Congruence Wines calling it a day

#28 Post by Steve Eisenhauer » August 17th, 2018, 11:58 am

Josh Grossman wrote:
July 26th, 2018, 8:38 pm
Just popped the 2009 Congruence Cabernet Sauvignon tonight and what a wine. Completely opaque with absolutely no signs of age. The top note on the nose--which usually is what I try to discern as a kind of red or blue fruit I get, in this is all flowers; the most floral nose of any cab I've ever had. I especially get an aromatic orchid (Lady of the Night) and jasmine. Fruit comes in on the middle note and lingers. I get almost dehydrated/concentrated blueberries-but not stewed. The middle note lingers with a base note of fennel bulb and a touch of pencil shavings. Still lots of acid on the palate and fine tannins on the tongue. While this is singing--my personal taste I should have left the meat hanging a bit longer. More acid and less glycerol than I would expect from an '09 in the valley--but that's a good thing in my book. Think this and the 14.5 ava makes it evident that these grapes were not treated to Parkerization (which I hope isn't why this thread exists).
Thanks for the note, Josh. Most of the fruit (80%) came from Coombsville, which is close to the bay and has early budbreak and late harvest in comparison to the rest of the valley (there were a couple of years picking was going on in November). So a crazy long and gradual growing season. Hence the nice acidity and fine tannins. 40% of the grapes came from what is now Paul Hobbs' Nathan Coombs Vineyard and 20% each from a vineyard across the road from Caldwell and another vineyard from a very cool weather site. The pedigree of the wine is pretty strong in retrospect - even though nobody really knew of Coombsville or the vineyard from which I was sourcing when I started.
ITB - Congruence Wines

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”