Hello to those who Imbibe!
Last week I had the chance to visit with my longtime friend John Gibson. We go way back to my LA days where he would come to visit a few times a year. At that time he was the wine maker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. He was the guy making the killer wines of the mid 80’s to mid-90’s. John graduated from Davis in 1981 and took a job at Chappellet Vineyards, followed by Stag’s leap for 11 years and then moved on to Vine Cliff Winery, all of which are great producers of Cabernet and Chardonnay. In 1998 John and his wife Ann decided to start making their own wines, and that’s when Salexis was born.
Having worked in the Napa Valley for over 40 years, John has made a name for himself. Growers have come to John offering their grapes, including Andy Beckstoffer who sells John grapes from his Carneros Lake Vineyard for two of the Salexis Chardonnays. He also purchases Cabernet from a combination of small Napa Valley vineyards. Below are my notes for their current lineup…
2018 Salexis Carneros Chardonnay: $21.99
Styled for earlier consumption, this wine is barrel fermented and aged on the lees for 15 months. The resulting wine is fruit forward with aromas and flavors of pears, apples, and citrus fruits. This wine drinks like a $30+ Chardonnay. Only 94 cases for the world.
2016 Salexis Carneros Lake Vineyard: $32.99
Winery price $40
Made from grapes grown in the famous Lake Vineyard in Carneros, Andy Beckstoffer’s premiere Chardonnay vineyard. This wine is modeled after the white Burgundies of Chassagne Montrachet and is barrel fermented and aged on the lees for 20 months. Graced with natural acidity, this wine offers aromas and flavors of citrus and tropical fruits including lemons and pineapple. This wine will complement a rich seafood or poultry dinner. It drinks like a $60 chardonnay. Only 229 cases for the world.
2017 Salexis Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: $59.99
Winery price $75
2017 was the last vintage of the California drought so the crop was ridiculously small producing very concentrated flavorful, rich, powerful, and balanced wines. Flavors and aromas of fresh cherries, vanilla, toasted almonds, and hints of oak. Very well balanced with soft tannins and a long lingering finish. A VERY delightful wine. Only 72 cases for the world.
In closing, the wines of Salexis are committed to producing only the highest quality wine possible. The quantities are limited to size that allows them to do all the work themselves, ensuring that you receive only the best. I am sure many small producers say this, but I know that John and Ann live this out. Grab you bottles today in store or by phone at 661-633-9463.