Napa day 2 Rivers Marie

We had the good fortune to taste a few current releases at Rivers Marie winery today. Will was great source of info and I appreciate his friendly manner and hospitality. This is really a beautiful building. That view is not a painting. It was a busy day with bins arriving and sorting going on. Glad my kids got to see a working operation.

We sampled:
2011 Rivers Marie Chardonnay Thierot.
I always love this wine, first time with the 2011. Pretty light petro nose which can be interesting as this shows. Soft mouthful, perfect spot at 10 years young. Thomas always has a way with this one.
2019 Rivers Marie Pinot Noir Summa, which I really enjoyed, much more than the old vine version last evening at dinner. Pure and focused. Dark strawberries with a bit of exotic spice. I will add back onto my buy list when I get home.
2017 Aston Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast- never been a fan of the bigger structure Pinot from this label.
2019 Rivers Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Panel Vineyard. One of my perennial favorites and have loved them back to 2009. Red fruit with a bit of interesting sweet cherry. Nice.
2019 Rivers Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb. Mouth coating with dark black fruits and tremendous potential. Sad, but the last before fire took the vineyard. Deeply layered with intensity and structure you’d expect from Mountain fruit. Sad end of an era.
2019 William & Mary Cabernet Sauvignon Schifflett Ranch. Cool blue fruits with great `lift’. I don’t know why I did not pay attention before. Won’t happen again. Elegant with great balance. Loved it.
Thanks to Thomas for allowing us to taste on what was a busy day at the sorting table. Thanks to Will for talking the time for us.



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I own the 2015 Rivers Marie Chardonnay Thierot. Any opinions on this vintage?

I opened a 2018 William & Mary Proprietary Red Shifflett Ranch in May. I just had to see what all the fuss was about. Delicious. I can only imagine what some age will do to this wine. My first vintage was 2017.

Nice notes Mike, that looks like a really fun tasting…

I have been buying the William & Mary Cab and Proprietary Red every year since the 2014 vintage. I love these wines, they have very high quality fruit, and are so balanced and pure. I like your description of “lift”. I went big on the 2018 vintage, I guess I will have to do the same with the 2019!

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So what’s on the itinerary for Thursday? I pass through the Valley today and would love to meet the King if only for a drive-by.

Sounds like a great three-for tasting with Will! Would love to do that next time we’re out.

Pm sent!

tasting room is beautiful there - love the whole facility!

Pobega isn’t trying to drink the grapes coming in off the vines? WTF [cheers.gif] [cheers.gif] [wow.gif]

You should! I found ‘19 to be as good or better than ‘18 with slightly less structure. The ‘19 will likely drink a little earlier.

Tried all of RM’s 2019 Cabs today in a bit of a hurry. All were very good and the two that stood out at first taste were…

  1. Oakville Terraces (formerly Lore)… blue fruit, perfectly ripe.
  2. Herb Lamb… the best of the few vintages Thomas had of the vineyard… actually elegant.

Also dug the 2019 Caterwaul “Cemetary” Cab, which was plush and sexy. FYI.


Was this is the order that you liked them? Curious how you’d rank

Awesome and glad to hear that!

I’ve visited RM once back at the Mending Wall site and loved it. The wines are fantastic and the hospitality is every bit as good. The new tasting room looks great.

Agree on the Caterwaul. Really liked it as well.

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We as a group preferred the Cemetry as it was plush and drinking better young. I could see the HL becoming my favorite of the group with a few years in the cellar.


Thanks for the feedback on Cemetery, I am wondering if I should pick some up. It got a great review by Dunnuck for the 2019, and also by Vinous and Dunnuck for 2018. I won’t be able to get out there for a tasting this fall, so am flying blind on this–save for these type of threads.

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That’s the one I’m most excited about and will save it for my going-away party in a couple of years :slight_smile:.

As I understand it, only two winemakers currently have access to Cemetery Vineyard grapes: TRB and Les Behrens.

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I recently tasted at both behrens and at rivers Marie which included the caterwaul cemetery and I asked if they were the same vineyard. They aren’t. They are both in Saint Helena close to the cemetery but the behren’s cemetery is from the Cappella vineyard. Caterwaul is a different vineyard. On a side note they are both excellent wines. I have a soft spot for the behrens cemetery. Love the wine and the label. Have had some older vintages lately that have aged gracefully.