Heitz buys Burgess

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Kris Patten
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5480
Joined: February 1st, 2009, 6:25 pm
Location: Seattle

Heitz buys Burgess

#1 Post by Kris Patten » September 12th, 2020, 9:46 am

The Lawrence Family, Heitz Cellar owners, acquire Howell Mountain's Burgess Cellars

https://napavalleyregister.com/news/loc ... cc50c.html
ITB

User avatar
Mike Reff
Posts: 1295
Joined: June 5th, 2009, 2:51 am
Location: Croton on Hudson NY

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#2 Post by Mike Reff » September 12th, 2020, 2:55 pm

And they did not retain the staff, guess the Lawrence family will be pressing their own by hands and feet!
"My very favorite miserable New Yorker" - Jonathan Sirot
"all you are is a sorry ass little big mouthed punk who thinks he is hot sh*t" - Jonathan Sirot

Mel Knox
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2211
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 8:46 am
Location: San francisco

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#3 Post by Mel Knox » September 12th, 2020, 3:44 pm

The story skips over a lot of history
Lee Stewart started the winery and made a lot of legendary wines, inc the 68 Cab, and trained many winemakers.

A group of businessmen bought the winery In the early 70s and decided it was not big enough so they built a new winery and sold the old one to Tom Burgess, who had been a pilot for IBM.

The winery was successful in the 70s and 80s but I don’t think Tom was that interested in wine. He had decided to retire to the SF region and liked Napa so he bought the winery.

Does anybody ever think about Burgess wines any more?? What shape is the vineyard in??
ITB

MitchTallan
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3017
Joined: June 3rd, 2009, 10:17 am

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#4 Post by MitchTallan » September 12th, 2020, 4:16 pm

Mel, you are a huge asset to this board. It is always a learning lesson to hear your frame of reference. For some reason when I first got into wine in the late 70's I thought Burgess was great. Truth is that I was just guessing based on what I had read. I liked the Ohio connection. I bought cases of '77 and '78 regular and Vintage Selection. They were priced right at the time compared to Mayacamas, Heitz Marthas, BV GdlT, etc. Parker gave them good reviews and I did not know what I liked and didn't like at the time. I just bought blindly. I still have some to this day. Sentimental value.

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 19594
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#5 Post by Howard Cooper » September 12th, 2020, 4:44 pm

I remember having some Burgess Cabernets from the late 1970s but have not had any or even seen any (other than in a friend's cellar) for a very long, long time. I thought the wines were very good but not of the highest level. Interesting, esp. Mel's comments.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

James Sanders
Posts: 641
Joined: June 1st, 2009, 12:35 pm

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#6 Post by James Sanders » September 12th, 2020, 5:29 pm

I remember receiving a 1975 Burgess as a gift from George Hauer (La Jolla Georges) in 1986 as a going away present after working there a few years. My mother who still lives in Ohio told me about the Ohio connection after she visited the winery a few years ago. WTSO was selling 90s and early 2000 Cabs for about $25 around 10 years or so ago. I bought a bunch of those and they were very fine. Not blockbusters, but that's not really what I'm looking for. I always respected that they stayed true to their style and didn't go the over-ripe route like so many of their peers.

J. Rock
Posts: 851
Joined: March 11th, 2019, 4:53 pm
Location: The [West] Valley

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#7 Post by J. Rock » September 13th, 2020, 8:04 am

I had a 1997 Burgess Merlot earlier this year (that I bought from Benchmark for $28) and it was definitely enjoyable, although, nothing special for me. Good value at that price for sure.
J o r d a n

User avatar
dave kammerer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 326
Joined: November 19th, 2009, 12:36 pm
Location: Geneva IL, Phoenix AZ

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#8 Post by dave kammerer » September 13th, 2020, 8:31 am

Still have one 1982 and 1986 vintage selection bottlings in the cellar. Will have to pop them and report on the results. Prior old bottles have held up perfectly.

User avatar
Andrew A r n t f i e l d
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 262
Joined: September 7th, 2013, 10:07 am
Location: Toronto

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#9 Post by Andrew A r n t f i e l d » September 13th, 2020, 3:19 pm

I had a 1978 about two years ago courtesy of a friend that was sublime. It led me to seek out more Burgess and since then I’ve had half a dozen bottles of the 1984 Vintage Selection that were equally superb, as well as a bunch of 1994, 1995 and 1998 (Library Release) that were very good but not in the same league as the ‘78 and ‘84s.

1980s and 1990s Burgess show up now and then at auction (Heritage, Winebid, K&L, etc.).
IG: @arntfieldwines

Charlie Carnes
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2664
Joined: April 30th, 2010, 2:13 pm

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#10 Post by Charlie Carnes » September 13th, 2020, 9:34 pm

It would be awesome if they released some of the mid 70s Petite Sirah. The 1974 was a great wine! I think I liked the 1973 as well.
So shines a good deed in a weary world!

Mel Knox
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2211
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 8:46 am
Location: San francisco

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#11 Post by Mel Knox » September 13th, 2020, 10:16 pm

A friend brought a 76 Burgess PS to the IPNC around 1990...fantastic.

The whole story of what happened to the Souverain brand is a long one. The new owners decided the facility was too small so they built what is now Rutherford Hill. Then they got involved with Pillsbury, who decided that facility was too small so they built Ch Souverain in Geyserville. They also bought Schoonmaker selections. The new owners over bought a bunch of French and German wines and then the oil crisis hit and then Pillsbury discovered they had a legal problem on their hands as they also owned restaurants. So they sold everything and now the winery in the Alexander Valley is now Francis Ford Coppola Presents. Schoonmaker got folded into a kind of merger with the Austin Nichols selections and became Chateau and Estates. The Ch Souverain brand is made elsewhere.

I have always felt that reviving a winery brand is one of the hardest thing to do. I don't know what the new owners will do with Heitz and now they have added Burgess to the mix. No shortage of grapes.
ITB

User avatar
Jeff_M.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 788
Joined: July 18th, 2019, 7:39 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#12 Post by Jeff_M. » September 14th, 2020, 6:53 am

I was at a tasting at Burgess last year. We started our day at O'Shaughnessy and Burgess was clearly a large step down in quality from what we had just tasted. I think the wine has promise but the stop may have been doomed by starting somewhere better.
Jeff M 0 l l

2020 WOTY Candidates
2007 Yangarra Estate High Sands Grenache
1986 Spottswoode Cabernet
2012 Hartford Court Arrendell Vineyard Pinot Noir

User avatar
alan weinberg
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 13130
Joined: April 25th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#13 Post by alan weinberg » September 14th, 2020, 7:45 pm

‘84 was darn good. About $10, if I remember.

M. Meer
Posts: 571
Joined: December 28th, 2010, 7:48 pm
Location: Glendale, CA

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#14 Post by M. Meer » September 14th, 2020, 10:01 pm

Interesting connection b/w the two wineries
https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... ss-cellars

Have had some really good '70s Burgess. '76 and '78 lined up for the fall/winter.
Mar.kus

User avatar
JDavisRoby
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1148
Joined: June 19th, 2018, 12:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Heitz buys Burgess

#15 Post by JDavisRoby » September 15th, 2020, 5:52 am

A ‘77 Burgess for my wife’s 40th was my first foray into sourcing and pouring older wines on my own. All others to that point had been from friends cellars. It was a wonderful experience. Got me hooked on buying older wines and even buying all the older Burgess I could find at reasonable prices. Especially birth year wines for the whole family.

Hope to see the brand revived but hope it doesn’t drive up cost of the old stuff!
Joshu@

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”