Fall 2019 Wine Club Release of Judge Palmer & Domenica Amato
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Dear Wine Club Family,

We write to you as grapes have just begun to trickle in to the winery, marking our ninth harvest since starting this endeavor. This year we plan to make 16 different wines, quite a change from our first harvest in 2011 which consisted of one wine - a Cabernet Sauvignon made with grapes purchased from the dean of Napa Valley growers, Andy Beckstoffer.

For all of the winemakers purchasing fruit from Beckstoffer - his client list is a who's who of Napa Valley vintners - the ultimate goal is to have the opportunity to make wine from the most prestigious of his sites, To Kalon Vineyard. As many of you are aware, this is the most historic piece of vineyard land in Napa Valley (and also the most disputed) and has produced world-class wines for generations of vintners dating back to the 19th century.

In 2015, after years of lobbying and paying our dues, Andy offered us a long-term contract on a few rows of Cabernet Sauvignon in To Kalon. Though we enjoyed producing wines from Beckstoffer's "Georges III" vineyard, we jumped at the chance to make wine from this special site and are extremely proud to officially release it to you with this club shipment.

Some wines from this vineyard are sold for upwards of $500 per bottle. Our To Kalon, regularly priced at $150, received scores from the major wine press equal to or exceeding those higher-priced wines from Napa-based wineries. Members will receive their bottle of To Kalon Cabernet (or two for case members) in this shipment at 30% off - only $105.

Of course, we're equally excited for everyone to taste the rest of the bottles in this shipment as well: our first "Cal-Italia" wine, two great Rhône style blends that have received rave reviews from winery guests this summer, and what we think is our best Sonoma Cab yet!

Please review these few details about the shipment:
  • Be sure to notify us if your shipping address or credit card information has changed.
  • Your wines will ship the week of September 30th and tracking numbers will be e-mailed to your address on file.
  • If you'd like to make any changes to the standard shipment, please respond by 3 pm PDT on Thursday, September 26th.
  • Standard shipment is two bottles of Sonoma Cabernet and one bottle each of the remaining four wines below (double that for 12-bottle members).
  • Red-only members will receive three bottles of Sonoma Cabernet, two bottles of Gusto Rosso, and one bottle of Beckstoffer To Kalon (double that for 12-bottle members).
We hope to see you all again at the winery soon, and as always, we thank you all so much for your support. 

Best Wishes,
Palmer Emmitt & Michael Scorsone
Wines In Your Shipment
"Che Fico," Clarksburg
Some of our favorite white wines in the world come from Italy and it has always been a desire of ours to make wine from Italian grapes grown in California. Our first such release, this Fiano exceeded our expectations in every way, expressing luscious lemon character and showing rich texture from fermentation and aging in our clay amphorae. Only 119 cases produced.
Domenica Amato 2017 "Gusto Bianco"
Viognier-Grenache Blanc Blend, Sonoma Valley

An intensely floral and richly textured white blend, the Gusto Bianco was fermented and/or aged in a variety of vessels - stainless steel, neutral French oak, clay amphora, and concrete egg. The complex layers of flavor unfold as it opens, so we recommend a bit of time in a decanter for full enjoyment. Only 144 cases produced.
Domenica Amato 2017 "Gusto Rosso" 
Grenache-Syrah-Petite Sirah Blend, Sonoma County

This fruit-forward red blend is our take on the southern Rhône style "GSM," which we've made into a "GSPS" by substituting our newly established estate Petite Sirah for the typically used Mourvèdre. Co-fermenting these three grapes together in one tank allows for seamless integration and smooth tannins, making it a food-friendly and crowd pleasing wine. Only 114 cases produced.
Judge Palmer 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage Select, Sonoma County
$43 (2 bottles in the standard 6 bottle shipment)
Composed similarly to the 2015 Vintage Select blend, this complex Cabernet Sauvignon shows classic red fruit character from our estate Dry Creek grapes buffeted by black fruit and sturdy tannins from several vineyard sites in Alexander Valley. We promise it's still the best bang for your buck Cabernet you'll find anywhere. Only 448 cases produced.

Judge Palmer 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, Napa Valley
$105 for club members (regularly $150)
Perhaps the most historic and revered vineyard site in all of California, Beckstoffer To Kalon has produced world-class Cabernet Sauvignon for generations of Napa Valley vintners. Virginie Boone from Wine Enthusiast rated our To Kalon Cabernet 93 points, describing it as "a complex, thickly concentrated wine, not shy in oak or power," while James Molesworth from Wine Spectator remarked that it "has some guts and character" in his 92 point review. Only 150 cases produced.

My grandfather James Palmer was a small town man who kept things simple. From his childhood picking peaches and pears in my great-grandfather’s orchards, to building his electrical contracting business Palmer Electric, to serving four terms as judge in the Placerville Justice Court, he lived his life by two simple credos – if you want something done right do it yourself, and don’t put up with any bullshit.

Our approach to winemaking echoes the lessons I learned from my grandfather Judge Palmer – simple, straightforward, and honest. My business partner Michael Scorsone and I learned winemaking the hard way, paying our dues with long hours of hard work in the cellar. We make the wines ourselves at our small artisan winery outside of Healdsburg, and launched and operate the business with no investors, no consultants, and no employees.

Judge Palmer produces Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietal wines from grapes grown in both Napa Valley and Sonoma County. We maintain collaborative and long-term relationships with growers who share our commitment to quality and sustainable winegrowing.

All of our wines across both labels are fermented naturally with native yeasts and no additives other than the minimum necessary sulfur are used during production.

We believe that the honesty and passion with which we make our wines will shine through and resonate – but you can be the judge of that. Try a bottle with a jury of your peers.

– Palmer Emmitt, Owner & Winemaker

The wines we make under the Domenica Amato label, named for my paternal grandmother, are sourced from small, family-owned vineyards and hand-made with passion and authenticity using old-world methods.

Growing up as the son of an Italian immigrant, food and wine were an important part of our family life. My father and uncles would make wine every year in our garage, and the extended family would regularly gather for Sunday dinners featuring my grandmother’s freshly baked bread.

Literally translated, my grandmother’s name means “Sunday love” – each bottle not only honors her memory but also expresses my passion for food and wine that was first stoked at those Sunday dinner tables and developed along my journey from culinary school to my winemaking career.

Domenica Amato focuses on the Rhône varieties Grenache and Grenache Blanc, as well as blends featuring those grapes, with additional offerings from year to year that may change based on the discovery of an exciting new vineyard source or the desire to experiment with different varieties, styles or blends. As part of our constant exploration of both old and new methods to make unique and distinctive wines, we ferment and/or age some of our wines in clay amphorae and concrete egg, and make some of our white wines with skin-contact.

Crafted to be food-friendly and elegantly rustic, I hope you will enjoy our Domenica Amato wines with your loved ones around the Sunday dinner table.

– Michael Scorsone, Owner & Winemaker

Judge Palmer
Judge Palmer
Domenica Amato
Domenica Amato
Judge Palmer
Copyright © 2019 Emmitt-Scorsone Wines LLC, All rights reserved.

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