Le Meilleur du Chai, French for “Best of the Cellar”, is a Bordeaux blend representing the finest barrels of each vintage. This wine was first produced in 1983, when Koerner Rombauer and his winemaker sat down to blend their third vintage of wine. As they tasted through the lots, they realized certain barrels had a power and elegance distinct from the rest. They carefully chose those to blend the bottle separately, deeming them le meilleur du chai.
The fruit for this wine comes from select sites in St. Helena and Calistoga, including our Stice Lane and Bennett Lane vineyards.
The 2014 vintage was another ideal growing season with warm, dry conditions that resulted in excellent fruit quality. Sustainable farming practices throughout the growing season were tailored to each block with the assistance of aerial photos produced using NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) technology. All fruit was hand-picked and sorted in the vineyards.
The grapes were carefully destemmed and optically sorted to ensure only perfect fruit made it into the wine. A portion of the wine was barrel-fermented to provide a more textured palate and silky tannins. The wine was gently basket-pressed before being racked to French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging. Each barrel was hand-selected for this wine. Production was limited to 245 cases.
Aromas of black cherry, floral raspberry and lifted black currant flow from the glass. Layers of dense black cherry and toasted vanilla coat the rich, soft palate. Very fine tannins balance the fruit flavors as the wine finishes with fresh, red cherry and cedary oak.