William & Mary Wine Company was founded by Will and Mary Segui in 2014. Shifflett Ranch and Vineyards at the end of Darms Lane in the Oak Knoll Appellation of Napa Valley is source of fruit for William & Mary. The Shifflett family purchased the ranch in the late 1940’s and Mary was born and raised there. Will is also instrumental at Rivers-Marie where he is the sole employee of the winery. The William & Mary wines are made at the Mending Wall Winery on the Silverado Trail.
This past Sunday I was able to squeeze in a 10am visit with Will. I was in the Bay Area for the UW-Cal football game and scheduled a flight out of Santa Rosa Sunday night allowing for a few winery visits Sunday morning and afternoon. My wife and I met Will at the Mending Wall Winery south of Calistoga on the Silverado Trail.
We warmed up tasting through three Rivers-Marie Pinot Noirs and a Rivers-Marie Chardonnay. The wines were exceptional but more to come on that in a future blog post. Will poured us the 2016 Proprietary Red and the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from William & Mary. Below are brief tasting notes on two very young wines that I hope to follow over the years to come.
2016 William & Mary Wine Company Proprietary Red – Purple in color. 14.5% ABV. 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Franc literally jumps out of the glass on the nose. The wine has an old school, almost rustic profile with just a touch of green on the palate. There is a tremendous core of bright red fruit with notes of cedar and graphite. The potential for excellence is here and time in the cellar will be rewarded. Best over the next 7-10 years. $95 at the winery. My rating: 93 points.
2016 William & Mary Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon – Opaque purple in color. 14.5% ABV. Tremendous nose of red and black fruits, scorched earth and minerals. Rich and plush. Tons of structure. Currants, chocolate and cassis liqueur on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Everything I adore about Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Best over the next 6-8 years. $110 at the winery. My rating: 95 points.
To be honest I was having too much fun talking to Will to take really detailed tasting notes. Will is gracious, humble and fun to hang out with. I had planned on 60-90 minutes for the visit but we could have gone for 3 hours if time permitted. Rest assured the wines are stunning. This is a chance to get in on the ground floor with a promising young winery. You know I think we are all on too many mailing lists and I hesitate to recommend another mailing list on this blog. With that being said this is project that I think is worthy of your consideration.