The slushy combination of rain and ice is set to drown New York again this week, and the bone-chill has us dreaming of hibernating in our apartments with a really great glass of wine. Nothing fixes a near-drowning experience on the streets of NYC quite like a slap-you-in-your-face cab. And as the weekend approaches and the thought of vino fills our brains we decided to check in with the Wine Foundry to see how their harvest went, how our 2013 Alister & Paine Cabernet from Rutherford Bench Vineyard is aging and what the team is up to in lovely California.

The Wine Foundry is a one-stop shop for custom wine production, offering a full range of services for wine enthusiasts, vineyard owners, and entrepreneurs, including everything from fruit sourcing to label design and e-commerce solutions for direct to consumer sales. Last year we partnered up with these oenophiles to create something spectacular—own very own Rutherford Bench Cabernet.

The Alister & Paine team checking on their 2013 Rutherford Bench Cab earlier this year

The Alister & Paine team checking on their 2013 Rutherford Bench Cab earlier this year

We checked in with Patrick Saboe, their head wine-maker, to see how it’s all going and what to expect next time we head to Napa. First, we went over the 2014 Harvest Update. “I’m not superstitious. But, after defying gravity with the textbook perfect 2012 and 2013, I was emotionally prepared to come back to Earth in 2014. Surely, this time ‘round, we’d face untimely rainstorms and sleepless nights fretting of frost, hailstorms or flocks of fruit hungry birds. As it turned out, the worry was for naught as plagues weren’t cast and skies didn’t fall.

Instead, if possible, 2014 delivered even better weather. This isn’t marketing schtick or salesperson ploy. A third straight year of scant winter rainfall seamlessly blended into a spring and summer of plentiful ripening sunshine. No blistering heat spikes causing fruit to raisin. No heartbreaking molds or mildews causing clusters to shrivel. Simply perfect weather for a simply perfect third straight year.”

Even better news—our wine is aging spectacularly.

“I know we still have 7 more months of aging, but, with the wine having rested in French oak for just over 12 months, the true character has emerged. The fruit notes are a touch more showy than the 2012s off the property and are built around a hearty core of red berry and cassis, supported by elegant layers of spice and the subtlest hint of caramel and hazelnut.

I’ve been known to roll eyes when folks speak about ‘Rutherford Dust’ characters associated with the area where the vines are planted. But, by golly… there are the subtlest hints of dust on the palate of the the 2013… almost like the notes taken on by some raspberries. No joke… and it works. As for the overall structure, the wine has plenty of acidity with heaps of fine grained tannins.”

Tasting with the Wine Foundry Team at their new Napa home

Tasting with the Wine Foundry Team at their new Napa home

The potential we tasted last March is finally coming to fruition, and we couldn’t be more excited. Making wine is a very patient process but, like all good things in life, the end result is worth it.

The Wine Foundry has always been great at running their boutique operation with a very customized approach, but they’ve upped the ante a bit with their recent acquisition of the custom crush operations and facility of Juice Box in Napa.

Steve Ryan, the General Manager of The Wine Foundry, is enthusiastic about the move.  “Over the last two years,” explains Ryan, “our team has focused on executing our business model and earning the confidence of our clients. This acquisition is the next step in our evolution, which will enable us to expand our service offerings into traditional custom crush for small lot producers and work with some very talented winemakers and additional prestigious vineyards.”

The new facility includes a sexy tasting room with an appealing modern aesthetic, an ideal spot for private events. Host your Holiday Party with wine thief tastings of your aging wine, or throw an intimate New Year’s gathering having the first sip of your completed blend.

Oh, and if you want to be a creeper like us and can’t sleep without seeing what’s happenin’ at the winery, the new Crush Cam gives you 24/7 access. This way, even if you don’t have time to drop in and say hi to your barrel, you won’t miss a thing!

The new modern tasting room at the Wine Foundry

The new modern tasting room at the Wine Foundry