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Maître de Chai 'Gala Mountain Vineyard' Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California 2020

  • $48.00

Ready to ship  -  10 left


  • Winemaker: Alex Pits & Marty Winters
  • Farming: Sustainable with Organic practices
  • Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Terroir: The Gala Mountain Vineyard sits above the Napa Valley on the slopes of Mt. George, just east of the city of Napa. This northwest-facing vineyard was planted in 1992 on rocky volcanic bedrock with sandy topsoil and is cooled by the constant breezes from the San Pablo Bay. The vines are well-drained, deep rooting & produce small clusters, which lend to the structure of the wine. This six-acre vineyard was converted from organic to biodynamic farming in 2018 and is tended to by hand.
    Vinification: The wine was destemmed & fermented with its native yeasts in small open-top fermenters and aged for sixteen months in neutral barrels.
  • Tasting Notes: red licorice, golden raspberries & sassafras greet you in the glass. This wine carries all of this onto the palate as well: ripe blackberry juice, licorice & sarsaparilla -- all of the classic traits of Vaca Mountain Cabernet.
  • Twenty-six barrels were produced.

From our October 2023 Bottle Club:

Maître de Chai Gala Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA 2020 

Maître de Chai (May-TRUH de Shay) began as a personal project between friends Marty Winters and Alex Pitts in 2012. We find it inspiring when winemaking transforms from a passion into a career change. Before launching MdC, both Marty and Alex were chefs in fine dining restaurants, where their paths crossed. During their transition from the culinary world, Marty worked harvests at Leo Steen Wines, and Alex served as Assistant Winemaker for Abe Schoener’s Scholium Project. Together, they explore forgotten vineyards and craft wines that epitomize individuality.

Over the past decade, Maître de Chai has earned its place in the fine wine arena. The Stampede Zinfandel pays homage to Ridge’s Paul Draper, while the Kierkegaard Chenin Blanc stands as one of the rare California Chenins with its heart rooted in the Loire. Their growing reputation has granted them access to incredible vineyards in Napa Valley, and when Alex and Marty stumbled upon the Gala Mountain Vineyard, they knew they needed to work this land, despite Cabernet not being part of their initial plan. This biodynamically-farmed six-acre vineyard stands 1000 feet above the Napa Valley floor, rooted in well-draining, rocky volcanic bedrock with sandy topsoil. It yields small grape clusters with a firm, multi-dimensional tannin structure—a reflection of its unique terroir. The vineyard's elevation invites constant breezes from the San Pablo Bay, maintaining fresh acidity and infusing the grapes with a character reminiscent of the old-school, age-worthy Cabernets of Napa Valley in the 1970s and 80s.

They hand-harvest the grapes and let nature take the lead: native yeast fermentations occur in small open-top vats with a few punch-downs. The Cabernet ages for sixteen months in neutral barrels, which is why this wine subtly nods to Napa’s past. There are no overwhelming oak extracts or high alcohol; instead, we experience hints of red raspberry, bramble berries, sassafras, juicy black plums, and the herbaceous, piney essence of mountain fruit. This wine can be cellared for the next 10 years, or you can decant it and savor it alongside a simple preparation of lamb with herbs and garlic, beef tenderloin with chimichurri, or a selection of aged cheeses. —Cara Patricia